Avoiding Scams and Identity Theft

September 8, 2020

The HIO has received multiple reports of international students and scholars receiving scam phone calls from individuals representing themselves as employees with “U.S. Immigration” or other government entities. They alter caller ID systems to make it appear that the call is coming from a governmental number. The scammers obtain or verify personally identifiable information from their victims through various tactics, including by telling individuals that they are the victims of identity theft. The scammers also pose as law enforcement or immigration officials and threaten victims with arrest unless they make payments to the scammers using a variety of methods.

If you receive a call from anyone claiming to be a governmental entity, please ask for their contact information and callback number and contact your HIO Advisor immediately. Individuals receiving phone calls from these numbers must not provide any personal information. For example, do not provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or your bank information and do not agree to meet them somewhere.  Hang up immediately and call your HIO advisor. Governmental officials and/or the police would never request payments over the phone.

You can find more information on the HUPD website.