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We want to help you protect yourself and your fellow students from common scams that target international students studying in the U.S. Scams are illegal schemes that involve tricking people in order to take their money. Unfortunately, many scams are intended to trick international students. We do not want you to be tricked by these scams. This page provides resources and information for students and scholars to help recognize these scams and know how to handle the situation.

If you have been the victim of a scam, you should contact ASU Police immediately at 480-965-3456. After speaking with ASU Police, you may contact the ISSC for further support at 480-727-4776 or

Types of Scams

Scammers attempt to convince victims of fake job offers in an attempt to gain personal information. You may receive an email offering you a job that sounds too good to be true. If you are looking for a job for Post-OPT or STEM-OPT, please be extremely careful when you receive an email from scammers. Fake job offers can be attempts to steal personal information, financial information or money from you.

A scam job offer usually:

  • Does not indicate the company name or is not on company letterhead
  • Comes from an email address that doesn’t match the company name.
  • Does not include the employer contact information.
  • Includes payment for services for almost no work.
  • Offers you a job without ever interacting with you.
  • Asks you to pay an application fee.
  • Wants you to transfer money from one account to another.
  • Offers to send you a check before you do any work.
  • Asks you to give your credit card or bank account numbers.
  • Asks for copies of personal documents.
  • Says you must send payment by wire service or courier.
  • Offers you a large payment for allowing the use of your bank account—often for depositing checks or transferring money.
  • Sends you an unexpectedly large check.

No legitimate employer will send payment in advance and ask the employee to send a portion of it back. Do not provide any personal information, especially Social Security numbers or bank account information.

Some individuals will claim to be calling from a U.S. government agency regarding an aspect of your immigration status. Scammers may impersonate an employee of a government agency, such as the following:

  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
  • United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
  • Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).
  • A U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
  • A Government Agency from your home country.

Please note that U.S. government agencies will not contact you by phone or email. Most government agencies will contact you via regular mail for official communications. Visit the USCIS website for tips on avoiding common scams, or read the DHS's identity theft and internet scams tip card.

Don’t be fooled by these scams. Watch this video to learn more about how you can identify a scam caller.

Please also be mindful of scam calls you may receive from individuals claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS has more information about potential scams affecting individuals. In order to keep individuals informed of various scam situations, the IRS keeps a list of phishing and other schemes.

The IRS does not contact taxpayers by email, text message or social media channels to request personal or financial information. This includes requests for PIN numbers, passwords or similar access information for credit cards, banks or other financial accounts.

To report the fraudulent misuse of the IRS name, logo, forms or other IRS property, please call the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration toll-free hotline at 1-800-366-4484 or visit the TIGTA.

Tuition-related Scams

Please be aware of scammers tricking you into paying a fee for non-existent discount tuition.

PayPal/Venmo Scams

Please be aware of Scammers convincing you of accidentally paying you on Money Transfer Apps (e.g. Paypal, Venmo) and demanding a payment back.

Virtual Kidnapping Scams

Please be aware of Scammers convincing you that your family is being held at ransom, and asking you to send ransom payments.

Romance Scams

Please be aware of Scammers who build relationships and trust with you to obtain your personal and/or financial information.

Housing Scams

Please be aware of Scammers asking for depositsdeposit on fake house/apartment listings in your area.

Technology Scams

Please be aware of Scammers claiming to be part of technology-related companies insisting that your computer is hacked or has a virus, in an attempt to steal your personal information.

Prize Scams

Please be aware of Scammers who will contact you claiming you have won some sort of sweepstakes, contest, or prize in an attempt to steal your personal and/or financial information.

Delivery Scams

Please be aware of Scammers who impersonate companies with delivery options for their products (e.g. Amazon, Walmart) and attempt to trick you into giving away your financial information for a non-existent package you are said to receive.


First and foremost, you have to be aware of the different techniques used by scammers. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Scammers may request payment by gift cards.
  2. Scammers may use phishing by sending an email or text pretending to be someone you trust and then asking for your personal information.
  3. Scammers may use spoofing where the displayed phone number on the call or text will look like it belongs to a trusted organization.
  4. Scammers may try to scare and threaten you with legal action including arrest and deportation.
  5. Scammers may try to create a crisis and convince you that this is an urgent and important situation.
  6. Scammers may try to create a sense of urgency in regard to you sending them money.
  7. Scammers may start out requesting for personal information, providing you with partial general information about you, such as your country of your origin.

If you or someone you know has recently been a victim of a scam, please contact the ISSC at (480) 727-4776. You can also contact ASU Police at (480) 965-3456.


Please notify the ISSC at as well.


If your financial information may have been compromised, freeze any debit or credit cards you have, place a security freeze on your credit, and submit a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office online at and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at or call +1 (877) 382-4357.


Forward any phishing emails to the FTC at


If you are a victim of identity theft, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website.


If you are a victim of Social Security Number-related scams, please visit the Social Security Administration Website.


If you are a victim of internet scams, please visit the FBI Crime Complaint Center.

On average, the ISSC reports one scam per week. We aim to lessen that number by keeping our students better informed about protection and prevention against scams.

Immigration Scams

Many international students have become victims to this scam, losing anywhere between $2,000 and $10,000. In one particular case a student even lost $50,000; the largest scam casualty ISSC has reported yet.

Employment Scams

International students have been tricked into giving away their personal information to scammers impersonating employer companies.

Delivery Scams

International students have experienced this scam but thankfully, did not fall victim to it.

Romance Scams

Many international students, predominantly male, have fallen victim to this scam but thankfully, were able to get help before any personal information was jeopardized.

Tuition-related Scams (Not at ASU)

Nearly 100 international students fell victim to this scam at the University of Washington in 2016, with an estimated $1 million in losses. (Source)

  1. What should I do if I receive a call which I think may be a call from a scammer?

    If you have been the victim of a scam, you should contact ASU Police immediately at 480-965-3456. After speaking with ASU Police, you may contact the ISSC for further support at 480-727-4776 or

  2. I got a call from USCIS and it was from an Immigration Officer who said to confirm their name and title in the USCIS staff directory. They want me to pay the SEVIS fee again.

    A staff member of USCIS will never call you directly. All communication from USCIS follows a certain protocol. Call ISSC right away before disclosing any other information to the caller or sending any money.