We want to help you protect yourself 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 for students and scholars to help recognize these scams and know how to handle the situation.
Employment or job offer scams
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 about you or steal money or financial information from you. There is also the possibility that you could get involved with a criminal activity.
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 financial information.
Immigration or U.S. government agency-related scams
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 and Visitor Program (SEVP).
A U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
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.