You are here

Copycat scammers and the visa lottery

Share this page

Each year, the U.S. State Department holds a Diversity Visa (DV) lottery and millions of people from eligible countries enter their names. They hope to win a chance to apply for a U.S. visa and become legal permanent residents. The State Department runs the only legitimate site for the lottery:, and there’s no fee to enter. If you get an email or see a website that claims to be about the DV lottery, but asks you to send money, don’t click on a link or give up personal information. That’s the work of a scammer.

Hundreds of people have reported sham emails and other DV lottery scams to the FTC. People described phony websites that used information copied from government sites, emails that falsely announced “You have been selected!,” and lengthy messages that promised housing, a guaranteed job and income — for a processing fee of $875 to $1,250. The scammers wanted the ‘processing fees’ sent by a wire transfer, which is difficult to trace or undo after the money is sent.

If you plan to apply to the DV lottery, know that:

  • The deadline for this year’s lottery is November 3, 2015 at 12:00 noon EST.
  • A computer will pick names at random. You can’t do anything to increase your chance of being selected.
  • You can enter this year’s lottery once. If you enter more than once, you’ll be disqualified.

The State Department has detailed information about applying for the DV program. If you spot a different website, email or other scam about the DV lottery, please report it to the FTC.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


What were the number of lottery spaces available over the years? I am curious of the numbers since 2000 as well as the countries on the list. How & what are the countries allocated & do these numbers change Annually?

The State Department has detailed information about the DV program and statistics about prior years.

UR saying the Lottery is secure & safe from inside yet just recently u caught 2 or was it 3 that was in a scam stealing from the lottery! So my doubts are there! And it will be quite some time and I sure a lot of others also!

I have been getting a lot from Benin Republican saying that they have 6.5 million and are waiting to release the funds and want me to send them through western union 200.

From: Dr. Neal Wolin

Acting Secretary and Deputy Secretary

U.S. Department of the Treasury

1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington , D.C

Direct Phone Number: (202) 813-0146

ATTN: Beneficiary, I am Dr. Neal Wolin. Acting Secretary and Deputy Secretary of the Treasury under the U.S Department of the Treasury. The executive agency responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the financial security of the United States . However, by virtue of my position as the Acting Secretary of the Treasury, I have irrevocably instructed the Federal Reserve Bank to approve your fund release via issuance of a CERTIFIED CHECK drawn on CHASE BANK, which is the authorized bank for your fund release.

However, as a former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and being a versatile banker of repute with about 25 years experience in the financial sector, I wish to state categorically that a CERTIFIED CHECK of Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($2,500,000.00 USD) drawn on CHASE BANK will be issued and sent to you via the UPS Service at no cost to you. Every and all cost associated with the delivery of the CHECK has been per-paid by the U.S Government.

The only fee associated with your fund release is the cost of processing the "IRS TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE", which is estimated to the value of $760 USD. The "IRS TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE" is required in accordance with the U.S Monetary Policy; and it is the ONLY expenses you will incur before the CHECK will be sent to your mailing address. Hence, you are advised to get through to the Internal Revenue Service Department of Treasury with the required fee to secure the TAX CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE for your funds. Once this nominated fee $760 USD has been received by the IRS Department of Treasury your Certified Check will be delivered right at your doorstep and afterwards cleared at any Chase Bank Branch. You can get more facts about the U.S. Department of the Treasury on the link below: 

Get back to me with a quick confirmation of your mailing address and the payment details for the $760 USD.

Yours Sincerely, Dr. Neal Wolin Acting Secretary and Deputy Secretary U.S. Department of the Treasury 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington , D.C Website: Direct Phone Number: (202)     EMAIL: jacklewdep  © 2015 Microsoft Terms Privacy & cookies Developers English (United States)

There are so many grammatical errors and misspelled words in this letter! That's always a good indicator that it's a scam.

Leave a Comment