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Scam Information

Scams are when strangers target individuals and lie to them to get money or personal information. Unfortunately, international students may be targets of certain scams. It is important to educate yourself and protect yourself against common scams.

Do not answer phone calls or text messages from phone numbers you do not recognize. This will help you avoid falling victim to a scam. You may also want to block these phone numbers from contacting you.

Never give out your personal information to a stranger over the phone! Hang up the phone if you think it may be a scam. Look up the agency's phone number online and call them on your own to verify the information is accurate.

Common Scams Include:
  • Text/SMS scams
    • People may send a message or picture to you and pretend it was a wrong number. They may use this opportunity to try to establish a friendship with you. Ex. "It's such a coincidence we met this way. Do you want to be friends?"
    • Do not respond to these types of messages. You can block the phone number.
  • Job scams
    • Be aware of job scams. Visit the company's website to directly verify the job posting is legitimate. 
    • Be aware of companies that do not interview in person or online. A scam job may only offer a texting interview. Always verify the interviewer's company and position at the company before talking to them.
    • Scammers may pretend to be employers/professors at CSP. Be sure to check the email address and talk to the sender in person to verify the opportunity. All emails from CSP staff and professors will always be sent from a email address. If you do not see a email address, do not respond to the email. Please feel free to contact ISS with any questions!
  • Delivery scams
    • If you get a text or email that you have a package being delivered, be sure the sender is from a legitimate delivery service such as USPS, FedEx, UPS, etc.
    • Go to the company's website and enter your tracking number to verify the delivery information.
    • Never click a link in a text message or email if you are unsure of the sender.
  • Immigration scams
    • The person may pretend to be from CSP, USCIS, or SEVP and ask for your personal information. They may say you need to pay money over the phone or give information from your immigration documents (I-20, visa, I-94, etc.).
    • Never give away your personal immigration information over the phone or by email. Contact USCIS or SEVP directly to speak to a customer service agent.
  • Social security scams
    • The person may pretend to be from the social security office and ask for your personal information including social security number.
    • Never give out your social security number over the phone or by email. Memorize your card number and leave the card in a safe place. Do not carry it with you in your wallet.
    • Your social security number can be used for identity theft such as setting up credit cards in your name.
  • Banking scams
    • The person may pretend to be from your bank and ask for your personal information to access your bank account.
    • Do not provide banking information over email or over the phone. If someone contacts you from your bank, hang up and call the number on the back of your debit or credit card to ensure you are talking to a legitimate bank employee.
  • Tax scams
    • The person may pretend to be from the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and claim you owe money. They may ask for payment over the phone.
    • The IRS will never contact you by phone. They will send a paper letter in the mail with their contact information.
More Information on Scams:
Study in the States Website on Scams Targeting International Students  ‚Äč
USCIS Webpage on Common Scams
IRS Webpage on Tax Scams