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Ask the Consul

Should I Send Money Overseas Because I Receive an E-mail Claiming I won a Diversity Visa Lottery in the Dominican Republic?

February 7, 2011

No. The Dominican Republic does not participate in the visa lottery. Fraud by telephone and email is increasing worldwide and the U.S. Embassy recommends that all visa applicants and U.S. citizens should exercise caution if they are contacted by someone asking for money or information by phone or e-mail.

Some fraud tactics currently being used involve reports of false kidnapping, lies regarding family emergencies, and a claim that additional money is needed to process your visa. Victims are often asked to deposit or transfer money through Western Union, or to an overseas bank account. Any random request for money from unknown sources should be considered as fraudulent.

If you receive any suspicious solicitations for money or information from persons claiming to be calling from the Embassy or U.S. Government, contact the Fraud Prevention Unit by sending an email to SDO-Fraud@state.gov, or call us at 809 - 221-2171 ext. 4272/4446, Monday through Friday from 7:30 to 4:00 pm.

Always check before sending money to unknown persons!