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Fraud Warning

Beware of Diversity Visa Scams

We have received inquiries from people who are victims of a world-wide scam involving the Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Program, also known as the visa lottery.  The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters pose as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from Diversity Visa applicants.  To avoid becoming a victim of this scam, please read the following information.  

The only way to apply for the Diversity Visa Program is through the official U.S. Department of State website during the specified registration period which takes place annually in the Fall.  If you have never registered for the program, you will NOT be contacted about being selected for this program.

If you registered for the Diversity Visa Program you will be required to check the outcome of your registration by returning to the official U.S. government website  and using the DV Entrant Status Check on the website. This is the only way Diversity Visa program entrants can find out whether they were selected to continue with a diversity visa processing or find out that they were not selected.

No other organization or private company is authorized by the Department of State to notify diversity visa entrants of their selection  or the next steps in the process of applying for their visa.  Fees for the DV application process are paid to the U.S. Embassy or consulate cashier at the time of your scheduled interview appointment, not in advance by check, money order, or wire transfer.   

More Visa Related Fraud Information

How do I know if a website or email is from the U.S. government?

Internet sites ending in the ".gov" top-level domain suffix are official government websites. To link directly to the more than 200 U.S. Embassy and Consulate websites, visit Visa information on official U.S. government websites ending in “.gov” is official and correct. Official U.S. government email addresses also end in “.gov,” and any visa-related correspondence coming from an address that does not end with “.gov” should be considered suspect. 

What is the purpose of these fraudulent websites and emails?

Some of these fraudulent organizations may require payment for immigration and visa services. If payment is made to a non-governmental source, this payment is not received by the U.S. government and does not apply toward visa processing. Sometimes these costs are for information or forms that are otherwise available for free on official U.S. government websites. Additionally, these imposter websites and emails cannot provide the services they advertise and for which they require payment. These services can only be obtained from official U.S. government entities, such as the Department of State, a U.S. embassy or consulate, or the Department of Homeland Security.  Learn more on the website.