International students and scholars are often the target of phone and online scams. These scams can cause you to lose a significant amount of money or to have your personal information stolen. OISS would like to give you the following pieces of advice:
- Employers will NOT email you directly offering job opportunities unless you have specifically requested information from that company.
- Governmental agencies (IRS, USCIS, ICE...) will NEVER call you on the phone and demand you to send money to an account.
- Governmental agencies (IRS, USCIS, ICE...) will NEVER ask for your credit card information
- Governmental agencies (IRS, USCIS, ICE...) will NEVER threaten you with the police or tell you that they can send transportation to your address.
- Governmental agencies (IRS, USCIS, ICE...) will NEVER email you for any reason.
- St. Thomas will NEVER send an email requesting your username and/or password.
- St. Thomas will NEVER send an email with a link to update your account.
- Be careful when arranging a renter or an apartment
- Never send money without visiting the property and confirming it’s legitimate.
- If someone sends you a check to cash (or sends too much) and asks you to send back money – this is a scam.
- If you cash someone’s check – wait 1-2 weeks for the bank to confirm it’s legitimate even if the money shows as available in your bank account immediately.
- Be wary when purchasing big items, like a car, via online lists - remember the saying “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”
If you receive a suspicious phone call, HANG UP. Don't give them any information, not even your name. Do not be intimidated by caller. Don't open emails that look like phishing or suspicious. Do not open any links within an email if you are unsure it is legitimate. Do not provide usernames or passwords. If you are unsure about a call or email you have received, stop by our office or call us at 651-962-6650 and we can help you figure out if it is legitimate.
- USCIS Information About Immigration and Visa Related Scams
- IRS Information on Tax Related Scams
- St. Thomas Public Safety webpage
- St. Thomas ITS webpage
- Homeland Security Study in the States