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- This claim isn’t legitimate, a State Department spokesperson said.
A recent Facebook post uses a U.S. State Department seal and a 2021 U.S. Air Force photo of Afghan evacuees to spread the word about a supposed special immigrants visa program.
But it’s a scam.
The Facebook account — called "Special Immigrants visa" — uses the State Department seal as its profile picture and a photo of a U.S. embassy as its cover photo. It encourages people to "text us on messenger or contact our WhatsApp number," which is listed in its Feb. 20 post.
"Evacuation operations Starts," the grammatically incorrect post says. "This is a great opportunity for you to enroll For the SIV program so you could also be evacuated, For your legitimate Recommendation letter and HR letter."
If that sounds like nonsense, it’s because it is.
This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook.)
The post’s odd phrasing and punctuation are a red flag that it’s not a genuine government Facebook page, or affiliated with one. But there are other clues, too. The page is described as a "travel agency," for example, and scrolling through previous posts, urges people to contact them on their "Legit Whatsapp number."
We sought formal confirmation about this post’s legitimacy from the federal agency that handles visa applications: the actual U.S. State Department.
"This is not legit," a spokesperson there told us.
We rate this post False.
Facebook post, Feb. 20, 2023
Facebook account, archived Feb. 22, 2023
U.S. Air Force, ‘Baby on board’ – Aircrew deliver Afghan baby on evacuation flight, Aug. 29, 2021
Email interview with Noel Clay, public affairs, U.S. State Department, Feb. 21, 2023
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