Department of State Warns of Impostor or Fraudulent Websites
Department of State Warns of Impostor and Fraudulent Websites
The Department of State, Visa Services advises the public that only internet sites including the ".gov" indicator are official government Websites, for our agency offices located in the United States. We are proud to have more than 200 Embassies worldwide. While many of these Embassy Consular Section Websites have the ".gov" indicator in their internet address, a number do not. The Department of State, Visa Services website does link directly to all Embassy Websites abroad at U.S. Embassies and Consulates. This is a useful way for the public to access Consular Section Websites. Visa applicants are advised to be cautious in all dealings with companies that claim to offer any assistance in obtaining U.S. visas.
Please note the following:
- Immigration Related Websites
Many other non-governmental Websites (e.g., using the suffixes ".com," ".org" or ".net") provide legitimate and useful immigration and visa related information and services. Regardless of the content of other Websites, the Department of State does not endorse, recommend or sponsor any information or material shown at these other Websites.
- Other Impostor or Fraudulent Websites and Email.
A few other Websites, including pages on social networks such as Facebook, may try to mislead customers and members of the public into thinking they are official Websites. These Websites may attempt to require you to pay for services such as forms and information about immigration procedures, which are otherwise free on the Department of State Visa Services Website, or overseas through the Embassy Consular Section Websites. Additionally, these other Websites may require you to pay for services you will not receive. These web sites may contact you by email to lure you to their offer. Additionally, be wary of sending any personal information that might be used for identity fraud/theft to these websites.
- A Few Words about the Diversity Visa Program.
There have been instances of fraudulent websites posing as official U.S. Government sites. Some companies posing as the U.S. Government have sought money in order to "complete" lottery entry forms. To learn more, please see the Federal Trade Commission Warning. Finally, remember that all DV applicants will not receive a notification letter or email from the U.S. government but must check their status online. DV Entry Status Check will only be provided through the Department of State secure online site, http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.
How Do I Report Internet Fraud or Unsolicited Email?
If you wish to file a complaint about Internet fraud, please see the econsumer.gov Website, hosted by the Federal Trade Commission, which is a joint effort of consumer protection agencies from 17 nations at www.econsumer.gov/english/ or go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov/). To file a complaint about unsolicited email, contact www.usdoj.gov/spam.htm.