Scams Targeting International Students
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to see an increase in the number of scams targeting unsuspecting international students.
They contact their targets in different ways, often by making threatening phone calls or leaving intimidating messages on social media. Students should be aware that a government agency would never contact them by telephone to demand immediate payment and would never request that the student wire money for immediate payment.
More information can be found on the Study in the States website regarding scams targeting international students.
It is important to be aware of various scams that target international students.
This is a scam that was reported in July of 2016, which has targeted students from China:
Here is how it works:
Student is approached by someone that agrees to pay a student’s tuition with a credit card. The person asks them for their student system login information, makes a payment on their account, and sends them confirmation of the payment. In return, they ask the student to pay them via wire transfer minus a 5% discount giving the illusion the student is saving 5% on their tuition payment. The original credit card payment made to the student’s account by the individual is later rejected by the credit card company as being fraudulent. This leaves a balance due for the student and the money they wired is long gone.
This is a scam that was reported to UIS Police in June of 2015:
The UIS Police Department is reminding the campus community about fraudulent phone calls primarily targeting our international students. Our Department has received more reports of International Students receiving phone calls where the caller asked for money or the student would be arrested and deported. The caller identified himself as a Police Officer from the Internal Revenue Service. The phone number the alleged officer called from is 1-800-829-1954, which is the IRS Refund Hotline. Fortunately, the student did not send money and reported the incident because of the previous crime alerts put out by our Department. The UIS Police Department continues to investigate these reports with the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. Since the first Crime Alert that we sent out, we do not have any reports of money being sent to the callers. If you or someone you know has received a phone call from an individual claiming you have committed tax fraud, have incorrect immigration paperwork and face arrest/deportation if a fine (or deposit) is not paid immediately, please contact the UIS Police. Please do not send the caller money. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) and the Department of Homeland Security do not make these type of phone calls.