We have recently been contacted by several members of the public who have fallen victim to scammers using the Embassy Facebook page to extract payment from them for visa services. They were asked to provide personal information, including a photograph, and in return were sent a photocopy of a U.S. passport containing their photograph with a request for $3,000 to be paid through Western Union.
Visa scammers have been in operation for a number of years, but this is the first time, as far as we are aware, that they are using the Embassy Facebook page to scam victims.
You can avoid becoming a victim, by taking the time to read the following.
- We will never email a visa applicant from a Gmail account. Official U.S. government email addresses end in “.gov,” and any visa-related correspondence coming from an address that does not end with “.gov” should be considered suspect.
- We will never ask you to pay the visa application fee by check, money order or Western Union. The visa application fee is paid at the time you schedule the appointment for the visa interview.
- Visa applicants are not issued a U.S. passport. If found qualified, they are issued a U.S. visa.
If you wish to file a complaint about internet fraud, please see visit econsumer.gov. You can also visit the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) website at www.ic3.gov
If you wish to file a complaint about unsolicited email, contact The Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership among the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C), and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BIA), at www.ic3.gov; and, if you are in the United Kingdom, to the Metropolitan Police, at www.actionfraud.police.uk