For Your Information: 09/14/2012

FTC Reminds People Entering the Diversity Visa Lottery: Understand the Steps So You Can Avoid Scams

Every year, scam artists target immigrants who enter the U.S. Department of State’s Diversity Visa Lottery Program.  The Federal Trade Commission, the nation’s consumer protection agency, says immigrants who understand how the program works may be less likely to be scammed.  To that end, the FTC is releasing a consumer alert and video, in Spanish and English, that explain how the program works, how to apply, and how to identity and report visa lottery scams.

The Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery is one way for a citizen of another country to become a “Lawful Permanent Resident” in the U.S. – that is, to get a Green Card.  But scammers try to trick people who enter the DV Lottery by promising to increase their chances of being picked. Key facts to know about the DV Lottery:  it is a random drawing and no one can boost anyone’s chance of being selected; it is free to enter; and a person can enter once a year, although their spouse may enter, as well.      

This year, online registration for the DV-2014 Program opens on Tuesday, October 2, 2012 at noon, Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) and closes on Saturday, November 3, 2012 at noon EDT.

For more information on how the Diversity Visa Lottery works and how to avoid scams, see the FTC’s consumer alert, How to Recognize a Diversity Visa Lottery Scam. For instructions on how to enter the Diversity Visa Lottery, visit the Department of State website.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them.  To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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Last Modified: Friday, September 14, 2012