This scam starts when you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from a government agency or police department that tries to scare you into paying money for fines that do not exist.
The person usually knows specific information about you, like your date of birth. They will say that you owe a fine and requests immediate payment by credit card or electronic transfer. When you ask questions, the person becomes aggressive and threatens you with deportation.
To avoid this scam:
- Remember that the Office of International Affairs is your main point of contact regarding your immigration status. The U.S. government or your home country’s government will not contact you directly to ask for payments.
- Know that government agencies in general will never contact you by telephone and demand immediate payment or request that a student wire money for immediate payment.
- Hang up the phone if you suspect a scam. The caller may try to keep you on the phone, but do not believe any threats.
- Stay calm and talk with a university personnel before you make any moves.
- Report all scams to local law enforcement and talk to an attorney at Student Legal Services and/or the Office of International Affairs if you suspect a scam.