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American Green Card Lottery - How to Identify Fraudulent Websites

Feb 25, 2008
The State Department of the United States of America ardently warns the public of the several existing impostor websites and/or emails that claim themselves to be official government sites issuing an American Green Card.

Hence, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of State Warnings are widely published to help the people be aware of these fraudulent sites offering Diverse Visa Services for hopeful immigrants.

The Visa Services of the State Department has a direct link to websites of greater than 200 consulates and embassies worldwide. These sites are very useful for those applicants who need help in understanding their application forms.

However, there are non-governmental websites (whose addresses are suffixed with com, net, or org address that provide useful, legitimate, and accurate information related to visa and immigration process and services. But these sites, no matter how accurate their information is, are not in any way endorsed, recommended or sponsored by the U.S. State Department.

There are websites that might attempt to mislead applicants into thinking that they really are official government sites. They may try to require you a payment for the immigration and visa related information, forms, and services that they provide.

They may actually communicate with you through e-mail to convince you to register to their American Green Card Lottery Program. Hence, it is a must that you have to be aware that the services offered by the U.S. Department of State do not actually cost you a single dime unless you win the Green Card lottery. Also, the government will contact or notify you via standard post letters, and not through electronic mails. Hence, you should be extra cautious in sending any personal information, which might be utilized for identity theft or fraud due to these deceitful websites.

The Federal Trade Commission, a national agency that protects the welfare of the citizenry by helping end users to identify, cease, and avoid unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent business practices. The commission enters online, telemarketing, identity fraud/theft and related complaints into the Consumer Sentinel, which is actually a secure database on the internet.

According to the FTC, some lawyers and businesses may pull the wool over your eyes by claiming that they are official affiliates of the U.S. government. They may also claim to have special entry forms or expertise required to join the lottery or that their company never had a rejected lottery entry. Or they could lie further by assuring you that you can still qualify to join the program even if you are from an ineligible country or that they can actually increase your odds of winning.

If you happen to encounter such websites or e-mails, and you desire to file complaints, you may contact the Department of Justice. Doing so can be a great help to prevent other hopeful U.S. immigrants falling for such deceptive pits.
About the Author
Min Zhu, an author and mother who immigrated from China.
For more information on Green Cards, visit:
American Green Card
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