A few weeks ago, I first warned readers about the increase in green card lottery scams. Today one of my Iraqi Refugee Resettlement Project clients in Jordan received one of the scam emails purporting to be from the U.S. Department of State. Some excerpts from the email:
Congratulations ! You are among those randomly selected and registered for further consideration in the diversity immigrant program. Selection guarantees that you will receive a United States Permanent Resident Card(also known as Green Card or Diversity Visa) only if you follow the instructions for further processing.
Is the Diversity Visa FREE ?
No. There is a big confusion. Only the participation in the Diversity Visa Lottery was free but the winners must pay the visa processing fees.The fee is used to process your visa related documents and verify your identity.
Great news, right? But wait, there’s more:
Please read and follow all the instructions very carefully. With the Diversity Visa (also known as Green Card) you will enjoy all the advantages and benefits of a US permanent resident, including health and education benefits, and employment opportunities along with guidance in your new country, orientation sessions and programs to integrate into mainstream American society. Once received you can use it at any time you want to move in the United States or just travel. The visa must be renewed after 10 years.
Although you will have all the rights that a U.S. citizen has in the United States, without a relative or friend in the United States you may find the relocation difficult and expensive due the lack of experience in the American society. Therefore the U.S. Government helps you with the accommodation and offers you along with each visa Health Insurance (Freedom HSA Direct Individual Health insurance for 1 year), Dwelling(Apartment in any city you prefer, 1 bedroom for 3 months ), a guaranteed job(in the field that you are are currently qualified so you can start working even from the first week you arrive in the United States and get paid as U.S citizen. ) and education (for U.S. Students or Higher Education through EducationUSA. It includes transfer to a U.S college or Univeristy so you can continue your educational study. More details can be found at http://educationusa.state.gov/.)
We remind you that only the visa processing fee ($880) is mandatory and the visa is guaranteed upon receiving the payment.
Accompanying family members(wife/husband, fiancee, brothers, sisters, children, cousins) may be included in the program and their visas will be provided at the same time with yours so you can travel/move together in the same time. However the fees must be paid per person and each member(e.g wife, brother, parents, children, cousin) must pay $880. There is no discount for children.
All this can be yours for only $880 per person!
Visa Payment processing instructions
The fees must be paid using Western Union money transfer and will be processed by the U.S. embassy in the United Kingdom.Western Union is a leading provider of International person-to-person money transfer. With more than 150 years experience and 245,000 Agent locations in over 200 countries and territories, Western Union is recognized for sending money quickly, reliably, and safety.
You can send the payment in U.S. dollars or equivalent of your local currency.
Click on the following link to find the nearest Western Union agency and send the fees payment :
Find Western Union Agency
If you are unable to find a Western Union agency near your location, you may ask a relative or friend to pay the fee on your behalf.
After you find a Western Union agency you need to go with cash money, an identity card(e.g passport or national identity card) and send the payment to the U.S. embassy agent address in United Kingdom:
Name : Lloyd Walker
Address: 24 Grosvenor Square
London, W1A 2LQ
The payment must be sent to the above U.S. embassy agent address in United Kingdom because the U.S. Government decided this based on the diplomatic relations with your country.
I had to break the news to my client that it is all a well-known scam and his family will have to continue waiting in exile for their refugee case to be approved. Refugees are among the groups of people that are particularly vulnerable to these types of scams as the State Department resettlement program confers benefits similar to those promised in the fraudulent email. The only way to stop the thieves is through educating those at risk, and I hope refugee relief organizations are getting the word out.