Seen and heard: Diversity Visa Lottery scams

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Many people around the world dream of getting a “Green Card” that allows them to live and work in the United States. The U.S. Department of State runs the Diversity Visa Immigrant Program, also known as the Diversity Visa Lottery. People from certain countries who apply and are selected in a lottery drawing could qualify to be “Lawful Permanent Residents.” Unfortunately, the FTC has seen websites that claim to be affiliated with the program, but are not. If you’re thinking about applying to the Diversity Visa Lottery program, here’s what you should know:

  • The period for applying to the 2015 and 2016 Diversity Visa Lottery programs is closed; applications are no longer being accepted. When the application program opens again next fall for the 2017 program you will only be able to apply online at If you see an ad or another website that says you can apply through them, it’s a scam.
  • There’s no cost to apply to the Diversity Visa Lottery program. Don’t pay for application forms or to submit your application online.
  • The lottery drawing is random. No one can help you increase your chances of being selected. If you apply more than once, your application will be disqualified. 

Ads for companies that claim they will help with the program's application are looking to take your money. If you pay, the companies may ask for more money to increase your chances of winning – but they can’t deliver on that promise. In many cases the companies never even transmit applicants’ information to the U.S. Department of State.

The FTC also has heard from people who applied to the Diversity Visa Lottery and gotten calls, emails, or letters saying that they won. This is a scam. The U.S. government will not call, email or send you a letter to let you know you were selected. The only way to know if you were selected to continue with the Diversity Visa process is to check your entrant status in the U.S. Department of State website. You don’t have to pay to check. If you applied to the 2015 program (between October 1, 2013 and November 2, 2013), you have until September 30, 2015 to check your entrant status. If you applied to the 2016 program (between October 1, 2014 and November 3, 2014), you can check beginning May 15, 2015.

If your entry is selected, you’ll have to pay some fees, but you can only do that in person and only at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The U.S. government will never ask you to send payment in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.

Check out the program’s rules and procedures so that you know what to expect, when to expect it and from whom. If you see or hear someone trying to scam Diversity Visa applicants, report it to the FTC online at or in Spanish at You can also file a complaint by calling 1-877-382-4357.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit



My gmail and yahoo have been innadated with scams from overseas

good keeping tract of info

Wheres the feds

Seems crazy that these the feds haven't stepped in. Thanks

Thank you very much. I'm so greatful.

Is "Kentucky Consular Center", that deals with Diversity Visa Program/green card lottery, sending out winning notifications a scam?

The ONLY place to apply for the diversity visa lottery is That's the website of the U.S. Department of State.

If a person or company says you can apply through them, it's a scam.

To apply for the 2017 Diversity Visa Program, go to the official site before November 3, 2015. You can't apply after November 3, 2015. You have to apply online. You can't apply by mail. 

Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) sent me a winning email from KCC Visa <support@ biblebelievers. and mentioned is it scam?

The State Department runs the only legitimate site for the lottery:

If you see a different website, or get email like the one you got, please report it to the FTC. The email you got is not from the State Department.

The State Department has detailed information about applying for the real DV program.

All out scam? I went to the US last year with my parents, and we got our visas independently of eachother, and it turned out my mom had payed one of these scam fees for their visas, but she did get the visas, they were legit. I wonder if it might be the same with these green card lotteries? Sure, they take a fee, but they do say they're not a government agency and explain that they provide a service, helping you through the process if you win. Call me a moron, but I fell for I'm just hoping it'll be like mom's visa - that they will submit my application. Anyone know? Will they go through with it or is it an all out scam? P.S. The only reason I got worried was a phone call I received the day after, in which someone asked for me and I said "Yeah, that's me"... they hung up. In the event it was a scam call directly related to usadiversitylottery, I decided to close my card. I'm hoping it was an unrelated scam call, though.

A company that claims it will help you with the program's application is planning to take your money. If you pay, the company may ask for more money to increase your chances of winning – but the company can't make it happen.

Often the scam companies don't even send the applications to the U.S. Department of State.

Read about the program’s rules and procedures so that you know what to expect, when to expect it and from whom.

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