Internet Financial Scams:
Every day individuals are defrauded hundreds, and sometimes thousands of dollars, by internet contacts they thought were their friends or loved ones. Many times con artists use the internet to build a fake relationship with an individual with the purpose of convincing them to send money. Sometimes individuals will pretend to be in a romantic relationship with their victim, or a close relative, such as a grandchild. Warning signs to watch out for may include:
- If you have never met the individual asking for money in person before;
- If the individual you are sending money to has incredibly bad luck – for example, repeatedly being unable to visit you in person because of a wide range of sudden and unforeseen circumstances;
- If someone is claiming to be born and raised in the United States but their communications are full of grammatical and spelling errors; or
- If the individual claims to work for the U.S. government but does not have a U.S. government email.
The U.S. Embassy cannot verify the validity of any company, organization, or offer of employment. We have encountered several common job-related scams in Zambia. Generally the scams claim that an individual in the United States needs the applicant to transfer a large sum of money to them to obtain a job position. In some instances, these individuals falsely claim to be associated with the U.S. government.
- A fake UN agency requesting money transfer to a U.S. bank account as part of a recruitment process.
- A scam requiring individuals to transfer money to a U.S. bank account to obtain a document from the U.S. Supreme Court to obtain lottery money.
- Fraudulent emails sent to Diversity Visa (DV) applicants requesting payment (NOTE: all DV fees are paid to the Embassy cashier at the time of interview).
For information on how to verify a U.S. government website or email address, and for more information on scams related to DV visas, please see our Fraud Prevention Warning.
If you think you are a victim of an internet scam, you may wish to contact local law enforcement, or report the matter immediately to 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.