Consumer Alert

Excerpts from the FTC Consumer Alert issued in August 1998 on “Green Card Lottery Scams”

“Some businesses and attorneys use misinterpretations and unfair practices to promote services to consumers who hope to win a chance to apply for a Green Card through the lottery program. Among the deceptions Green Card Lottery Scam artists use are statements that:

  • They are affiliated to the U.S. Government;
  • Special expertise or a special application form is required to enter the lottery;
  • Their company has never had a lottery rejected;
  • Their company can increase an applicant’s chances of “Winning the Lottery”.

The best way to protect yourself from Green Card lottery scam artists is to understand how the State Department’s Lottery works.

  • Hiring an attorney or company to enter the lottery for you is your decision.
  • Do not submit more than one entry. If you do, you will be disqualified automatically.
  • No special techniques or loop holes are available to increase your chances of winning the Green Card lottery. Selection of entries in the lottery is random.
  • Entering the Green Card lottery is straightforward and costs nothing. You can enter on your own by following the instructions available from the State Department or your local consumer affairs office.

Contacting the Federal Trade Commission:

If you think you are a victim of a green card lottery scam, contact the Federal Trade Commission toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).