In this day it is increasingly common for people to take advantage of others online. Unfortunately internationals are often seen as open targets for fraud. Please take a moment to read through this list of tips to ensure your safety:
If you receive a call from someone claiming that you are in immigration trouble, you should see an international student advisor immediately. Ask for their name, ID number, and contact number. Do not further engage with the individual. We will look into your case to see if there is any validity to the claim and assist you as needed.
Never wire or transfer money to an account or give your credit card number based on a threatening phone call or email. If money is owed from an I-901 fee or other immigration fee, there are specific ways to make payment. Wiring money is not how USCIS or other federal agencies collect money.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. Some threats do not seem threatening. If you receive a call or email stating that you have earned a scholarship or won money, do not give them your credit card number or any other personal information about yourself. As for a contact number and organization name so you can look into the legitimacy of the offer. If you did not directly apply for the scholarship, it is probably not genuine.
Keep your documents and personal information secure. Do not post pictures or scans of your immigration documents online. When using social media, make sure your privacy settings are secure. Posts accessible to “friends of friends” can be seen by virtually anyone.
Be careful about clicking links or downloading documents for unsolicited emails. These websites or documents can contain harmful programs to put your computer (and information) at risk.
Again, if you ever feel any threat of deportation talk to an international student advisor immediately. If the threat is false, we can help you discern the situation. If the threat is real, we can assist you in taking proper steps to resolve the situation.
If you have been contacted by anyone claiming to be law enforcement and threatening deportation, please inform International Student Services so that we can assess the scope of the issue.