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Scammers go after international students’ money

scam, students, fraud, scammersScammers 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.

Calls from the SSA? Don’t fall for it

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 to report if a scammer has contacted you or someone you know.

Elizabeth Bolt