ALERT – International students targeted by phone & email scams
Be Careful of Scams! DO NOT SEND MONEY
The CSU international student and scholar population is being targeted by people who are contacting them by telephone or by email, claiming to be from the US government, IRS, or other US government related agency. The callers say that you need to send money due to some problem with your immigration record, taxes, or a similar issue. These people are criminals and are trying to get your money.
If you ever receive any communication or threat that requires you to send money or provide private information such as a Social Security number, we recommend that you do the following:
- Stay calm.
- End the phone call or delete the email.
- Take note of what information you can: name, caller id number, date and time. Report this information to the Police or report the scam to the IRS or Federal Trade Commission (see below)
- DO NOT SEND MONEY!
- If you are worried and want to confirm if it is fake call, contact ISSS for verification.
Always remember: US government agencies will NEVER demand money from you over the phone.
A few CSU international students have already lost money because they believed the criminals on the phone were really US government agents. These victims have the following advice for you to help you avoid becoming a victim as well:
- DO NOT SEND MONEY
- Caller may know your name and date of birth
- Caller ID on your phone might display a police number or 911: this number is fake.
- Callers use very legal terms
- Callers will be demanding, and threaten or scare you
- Caller may ask you to send money by some online money transfer method
- Caller will say they have tried to contact you previously and could not reach you
- Caller may know part of your Social Security Number (SSN)
- DO NOT GIVE PERSONAL INFORMATION: name, date of birth, SSN
- Caller may tell you that you should not tell anyone else about this “federal” issue
- If caller first tries to scare you to get you “hooked” and then tries to be helpful–it is fake
- Caller might be the same nationality as you are and will pretend to help you
- Stay as calm as possible.
- Tell them you are going to call the police and end the call.
Everyone is vulnerable to these calls – many US citizens fall victim to these scams.
REPORTING SCAM CALLS:
You can report to the local police, or call the CSU Police: 970-491-6425
USCIS reporting: http://www.uscis.gov/avoid-scams/report-immigration-scams
Message from the US government regarding email scams:
Beware: scammers are using the USA.gov name as part of an e-mail phishing scam to collect your personal information on a fake IRS website. USA.gov will never contact you to request your personal information. Don’t take the bait.
If your receive an e-mail that’s supposed to be from a government program, and it seems legitimate, do your homework:
- Step 1: Double check any offers or demands by contacting the agency mentioned in the claim.
- Step 2: Use the contact information listed in the USA.gov Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies to contact the agency and not the contact information provided in the e-mail.
- Step 3: Forward tax related phishing e-mails to the IRS at phishing@IRS.gov.
Report all other government imposer phishing e-mail scams to the Federal Trade Commission.
A Message from the CSU Police
The CSU Police Department wants you to be comfortable on campus. We spend a lot of time patrolling the campus to make sure people are being safe and healthy. There is one place we cannot patrol, however, and that is your telephone.
Over the last month, thieves have been targeting our campus community for a kind of theft that happens over the phone. They will call you and claim you owe a lot of money to the government, even though you do not. Some people become afraid they will get in trouble, and end up giving hard earned money to these criminals. Once it is gone, the money cannot be recovered – the thieves use very clever and modern technology to hide their real identities and phone numbers.
Why is this message being sent specifically to international students? It is because these criminals are intentionally targeting our international community members. They want to make you think that if you do not send them money, they will have you kicked out of school, deported from the country or sent to jail. None of that is true, and you do not have to become a victim of these crooks!
Please follow these simple tips to prevent this crime from happening to you:
- If anybody calls and says they are with the government and immediately demands money, they are lying. Hang up immediately, and don’t talk to them any further. The less they succeed at stealing, the sooner they will quit calling people.
- Remember that the United States government – whether it is local, state, or national (federal) will not contact you like this. If for some reason the police, IRS, or another government agency need to talk to you, they will do it in person. They will bring official identification like a badge and/or a photographic ID card.
- If the calls are frequent, threatening, or at odd times of night, call the CSU Police Department and we will discuss the issue with you.
Again, we want you to feel safe at CSU. If you have any questions about this or any other safety/crime prevention issue, you can call the police department any time at 970-491-6425. You can also visit CSU’s Public Safety page at safety.colostate.edu.
The team at the CSU Police Department