This morning I was speaking to a Zimbabwean English teacher who asked me where I was from. When I told her America, she said she has always wanted to go to America. Then she asked me if was true about green cards. I asked, confused, “That they exist?” She looked relieved that I knew what a green card was. She said, “Yes, that it’s possible to get one.” Then she explained that “they” told her she could get one easily, that she sent her application fee and is waiting now. I told her that she needed to live in America for a long time. She said, “Oh, I can’t apply for one from here? But they told me to send the application fee, and they will send me one.” I finally asked who “they” was. She explained: “But on the internet they said it was easy to get a green card, and 50,000 people could receive them. I received an email about it.” It was hard not to either laugh at her or shake her and yell, “Don’t send ANY money to ANYONE who sends you an email!” Instead, I gently explained to her that she should never believe anything in an email from someone she doesn’t know, and she definitely should not send money to strangers. I also explained that it is very difficult even to get a residence visa in America and that if she wanted to find out all the correct information about it, she should check the US Embassy’s website. I reiterated that she should not believe these emails.
Her next question: “So what about the Free Lotto. Is that true?”