Jun 7, 2021

Scammers using SEVP and HSI phone numbers to target international students

The following was an alert message sent to internationals students at The Ohio State University on June 7, 2021.

Description of Scam

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has been made aware of a spoofing scam involving individuals using an SEVP Response Center (SRC) phone number (703-603-3400) or a Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office phone number (757-441-6533) to target nonimmigrant students.

Fraudulent callers are claiming to be SEVP representatives and asking students to provide their immigration information, such as their Alien Registration Number or Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record,” information, or face deportation.

If you are a victim of this spoof call, please report the incident to the HSI online tip line. If you are unsure about the validity of a call from an SEVP official, you can also reach out to the Office of International Affairs.

Avoiding this Type of Scam

If you receive similar calls, always remember:

  • The Office of International Affairs is your main point of contact regarding your immigration status. If you are contacted directly by someone claiming to be with the U.S. government or your home country’s government, reach out to an immigration coordinator at
  • SEVP officials will never ask you to provide credit/debit card or 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.
  • End the conversation immediately if threats and intimidation persist.
  • Report suspicious cals to the HSI online tip line.
  • Contact law enforcement by calling the Ohio State University Police Division at 614-292-2121 or Columbus Police at 614-645-4545.
  • Also contact Ohio State’s Office of International Affairs at or 614-292-6101.

It is always best to err on the side of caution and be vigilant. If calls persist and you are unsure of what to do, reach out to law enforcement, the Office of International Affairs or make an appointment with an attorney at Student Legal Services. Know that government agencies in general will never contact you and demand immediate payment or request that a student wire money for immediate payment.

For more guidance on avoiding scams, please visit the scam pages of the Office of International Affairs website and of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

If you believe you are the victim of any type of scam or fraudulent activity, please report it to the police and also schedule an appointment to speak to a Student Legal Services attorney (visit or call 614-247-5853).