Visa Lottery 2011 – Diversity Visa Scams on the Rise

How much would you pay to live and work in the USA?

If you’ve been born and raised somewhere else than the United States, you probably thought about moving out and living the American dream to the max. One of the easiest methods of immigration is through the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery, a US government program that offers 50,000 United States Permanent Resident Cards per year.
Fig.1 Green Card Lottery “acceptance form”. Message sent from an anonymous e-mail service

The heavy demand of visas has tipped crooks all over the world to set up bogus U.S. government sites running this kind of “lotteries”. The idea behind this kind of scam is simple: set up a fake website, heavily optimize it for keywords such as “lottery”, “visa”, “green card”, give it an official look (graphic details, choice of words, headings and fonts all hint to a legit site…but it’s all fake!), then wait for unwary users to take the bait and fill in the form.

A couple of weeks later, the scammers send a batch of messages that the applicant has been awarded a visa and they have to pay a specific sum of money as visa processing fees. Since the message contains the applicant’s personal information and IP address, chances are they will fall for the trick and pay the fee or the fees. Read more...