Consular officers reported that in countries such as Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal, Nigeria, and Ukraine, applicants lacked access to computers or were not internet savvy, therefore sought help from “visa agents” or “visa consultants.” Some providers took advantage of applicants by disseminating misleading information, intercepting official correspondence, and charging exorbitant fees for each step in the process, the 2007 report said.
In Bangladesh, some agents used their own address on entry forms so that program notification letters would go to them instead of the person in the entry, and in some cases “held these letters for up to $20,000 in ransom,” the report said.
A September 2013 report from the State Department's Office of Inspector General said there was a "pervasive and sophisticated fraud scheme" affecting the program in Ukraine.
Organized fraud rings masquerading as travel agencies buy, steal or obtain information on Ukrainian citizens and enter their data into the program’s online entry form, then contact the lottery winners and demand $15,000 for a State Department confirmation number needed for the visa application. If the person can’t pay, fraud rings seek a sham marriage with someone else who wants to come to the United States and is willing to pay for the pairing, the report said.
“There is no question that fraud is rampant in the diversity visa lottery program,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies at Center for Immigration Studies, which favors low-immigration levels.
Charles D. Piot, an anthropologist and professor at Duke University, has done research on Togolese who came to the United States via the visa lottery. He says there was a lot of gaming of the system when it was started, but technology added to the process now makes it unlikely for an applicant to be substituted by another person.
The State Department did not provide data on how widespread fraud is in the program, but fraud has been documented for many years.
We rate Perdue's claim Mostly True.
The diversity visa lottery is “plagued by fraud.”
— Georgia Sen. David Perdue on Wednesday, Nov. 1st, 2017 in a tweet