Scammers pretending to be from the federal government are scaring international students into paying them money. The FTC says it has received report that foreign students – particularly from South Asian countries – are getting phone calls that look like they’re from the government.
The scammers typically know about a student’s immigration status and the program or school they’re attending. They tell the students there’s a problem with their immigration documents or visa renewal before demanding immediate payment in gift cards or cryptocurrency for a fee or bogus immigration bond.
Remember, the federal government does not make calls like this, would not make these threats and wouldn’t ask for payment. If you get a call like this, hang up! If you’re not sure it’s a scam, talk to someone you trust about the call such as a relative, your local police department or a school official. If you’re concerned about your visa or immigration documentation, call USCIS’s National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283.
Information about how these scams work helps the FTC stop them, so go to FTC.gov/Complaint to report if a scammer has contacted you or someone you know.