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Scams and Frauds Targeting International Students

* Beware of scams and frauds at all time. *

Scammers will identify themselves as a police officer, government official, SEVP, USCIS, ICE Agent, IRS tax representative, or university official. These scammers will use threatening tactics such as dismissal from the university, deportation from the US, or pending police arrest if payment is not made immediately.

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  • Broadcast Message: Fraud Advisory – Scammers Using SEVP Phone Numbers to Target International Students

    To: All SEVIS Users

    Date: Dec. 9, 2020

    Number: 2012 – 02

    General Information The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has been made aware of a spoofing scam involving individuals using the SEVP Response Center (SRC) phone numbers (703-603-3400 and 800-892-4829) and claiming to be SRC representatives. The fraudulent callers are inquiring about Form I-94 documents and asking students to provide information regarding monetary transactions.

    We are urging you to follow up with your international students to ensure they don’t fall victim to this dangerous scam. If you or one of your students encounter, or are a victim of this spoof call, you are encouraged to report the incident to the HSI tip line. If you are unsure about the validity of a call from an SEVP official, you can also reach out to your designated SEVP field representative.

    Things to remember:

    SEVP officials will NEVER ask stakeholders to provide credit/debit card/gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers, or to make bitcoin deposits for any purpose.

    NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

    Report all suspicious calls to the HSI tip line and if you are unsure about the validity of a call from SEVP officials reach out to your designated SEVP field representative. If you have any additional questions regarding this matter, please contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or 800 892 4829, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, except federal holidays.

    Disclaimer

    The Broadcast Message is not a substitute for applicable legal requirements, nor is it itself a rule or a final action by SEVP. It is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by any party in any administrative, civil, or criminal matter.

Be Alert

Review information below about common identity, tax, and immigration scams targeting international students.

Report Fraud and Scams

Use the resources below to report suspected fraud or scams. Report immediatley if you feel you are a victim of a fraud or scam.

Protect Yourself

Report all suspicious activity. Know what to do when you receive a fraudulent email, phone call, or letter in the mail.


Scammer Tactics

  • Call to demand immediate payment for taxes or debt
  • Threats to call police or have you deported
  • Deny your ability to appeal or question the payment
  • Require specific payment through prepaid cards: Example: Gift Card Scams
  • Ask for sensitive information (SSN, date of birth, address, bank or credit card number)
  • Redirecting you to an unsecure websites or unauthorized email and text message

How to Protect Yourself

  • If you suspect fraud, end the conversation immediately 
  • Never share any personal or financial information (SSN, date of birth, address, bank or credit card number)
  • Do not send money through mail or electronic transfer
  • Do not click on suspicious links or access unsecured websites
  • Do not open email attachments from unknown senders

How to Report


What to do if you get a call claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment:


More Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions: