A few minutes ago, Gyorgyi came running into the office to tell me that she received an email about the Diversity Visa and that she had been selected for the program (and therefore U.S. Green Card) after all! I was immediately skeptical because I had already checked her status a month ago and knew she hadn’t been selected this year, not to mention that the U.S Dept. of State does NOT email or send letters to winners anymore.
Still, I couldn’t stop my heart from beating really fast. I imagined the possibilities– that everything we had been working for and trying to do here in order to get back to the U.S. would all be finally coming true. Imagine! A Green Card!
This is what the email looks like (click to enlarge) at the beginning. Starts out pretty convincing.
But of course as you go down a little further in the email, you start to see the clear signs of the scam:
Processing fees, via Western Union. And not only process fees for you, but an additional $879 for each family member you want to bring with you to the land of the free and home of the brave. Instructions are to send them via personal transfer to this man:
David Bartizal in the United Kingdom.
I have two reasons for writing this post. The first is because I hope that other people who are also sent this letter today or over the next few days, might find this post via Google and see that it is a scam. For those who don’t speak English well or who don’t know or understand the rules of the Diversity Lottery program, this could be a true blue trap.
The second reason that I write this post is because this is one of the instances where I can illustrate one of the hardships that good, hardworking people face who really want a better life for themselves and their families in the United States. It’s difficult enough facing the thorny hurdles of bureaucracy, not to mention that in our case the Federal Defense of Marriage Act that prevents me from marrying my foreign partner so that she can live with me in my country with a Green Card.
The truth is that there are wicked people in the world and that can’t be helped. I hope that no one will be fooled by this and send their money. I wish even more than no one else has to experience the true heartbreak that is born from the feeling of hope as it washes away.