Recently, the Department of Homeland Security informed DSOs that international students need to be aware of people trying to scam them. Those who are looking to take advantage of F-1 students will do things like create a website with a name similar to a government agency or student organizations. Through these websites, scammers will contact students urging them to make a payment in order to keep their status in compliance.
Students have been contacted by phone or email, and the person typically knows a lot of personal information about the student. Scammers do their best to take advantage of language barriers. The person contacting the student will be pushy, and will urge the student to make an immediate payment by using an electronic transfer or credit card payment.
Please be aware that a government agency will NEVER CONTACT AN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT BY PHONE TO DEMAND IMMEDIATE PAYMENT. A government agency will never ask for money to be wired for immediate payment either.
If you are concerned you are being contacted by a person who may be scamming you through email, check to see the extension of their email address. If a government representative has emailed you, the email address will end in “.gov” never in “.com”. Here at Southern States University, we will not contact you through email unless it is with an email ending in “.edu”.
If you are ever contacted by someone demanding you make an immediate payment in order to be in compliance:
- Stay calm,
- Do not give them any information about yourself,
- Never send money
- Get as much information about the scammer and report it to your DSO
- Do not tell the scammer you will report them
Your DSO will help you in situations like this. The person trying to scam the student must be reported to law enforcement and SEVP. If the DSOs at your campus hear of a student being scammed, we will make sure that the student body is aware of potential threats.
My best to you,
DSO, Fashion Valley Campus