The Tweet Twins uncover another global scam and this time it involved the land of hope, glory and racism …did I really say that 🙂 The USA Visa Green Card is scorned by some and sought after by others. Nevertheless there are companies out there willing to scam your credit card under the Green Card lottery scheme.
Recently I saw a link in a social media community and I suspected a scam so I thought I would put it thru our Scam Busting process and bingo we can up trumps. This is the page where the link led to.
I filled out the form above but before I hit enter I got involved with another task. I eventually came back and hit cancel. Two days later I received a phone call from the organisation from a female with an Indian accent. I noticed on my cell phone the callers telephone had been blocked and was reading 00000000. I had a short conversation pretending to be interested. Suddenly and unexpectantly the caller hung up.
Two days later I receive another call and this time it is a male with an Indian accent. I play along and complain about the discourteous female caller. The male caller finally plays out his sales pitch which ultimately they want your agreement to debit your credit card 208 Euro credit card and they will send a form for the Green Card lottery. Eventually the Indian telemarketer male gets his supervisor to answer further questions I have and 10 minutes after his discussion I decline their services.
Here is a copy of the front page of the web site, which look legitimate to the casual glance, but on closer examination and always check for this .. readily available telephone and real street address, neither of which appear. Lesson to Learn One, if you are using social media and web sites for business make it easy to be telephoned.
I checked out the Whois database and found that this domain has been registered via a privacy domain service… Now this in itself does not mean a scam but after two checks now notable steps have been made by them to hide their identity.
Then unexpectantly I recieved this email at an email address this organisation had not been given today.
I then checked the address on googlemaps and find that it is a Post Office in Texas. The # 1793 will be referring to a Box number
The Scam Green Card service states the following:
In order to win the American Green Card Lottery to Live and Work in United States, you are required to enter the following information. Please use only the English Alphabet.
This is the official USAGC Organization web site, which specializes in the registration to the American Green Card Lottery program for clients all over the world.Please make sure you do not register with any site that pretends to be the USAGC Organization. To make sure you register with USAGC Organization, check that at the top of the browser it is written USAGC.
USAGC Organization provides free green card eligibility test for everyone. In order to participate in the DV green card lottery program, one should take this eligibility test and make sure he /she follows the right constrains to apply for a green card. Green card eligibility terms are defined by the US Department of State.
The above message gives the sense of authority and that to get a Green Card lottery ticket this is the official process. Basically they are playing on peoples ignorance that the system is free it you apply via the USA Government’s web site.
Then my final check is with the State Departments web site to see what they had to say. http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html
Fraud Warning (words directly from the US Govt web site.)
Please Note: 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. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. The Department of State notifies successful Diversity Visa applicants by letter, and NOT by e-mail. To learn more see the Department of State Warning and the Federal Trade Commission Warning.
Going online with your business and immersing yourself on the web and social media opens yourself to fantastic opportunities for business growth, to be scammed, to be viewed as a scam. It is important to have a strategy so that you are not perceived as a scammer, that you are seen as an authority, creditable, relevant. As the online forest becomes more crowded it is imperative to know how and where you are going with your online activities.
For our scammers above there is every chance they were calling from India, Nigeria or the USA. Once you pass your credit card details and pay 208Euro for a service that you can do yourself for free you have no recourse.