The Exchange Visitor Program (EVP) is reporting an increase in phone and email housing rental scams. These scams often involve requests to transfer money to a fradulent relator or landlord. Other reported scams involve phone calls from alleged government representatives demanding personal information and money with threats of deportation from the U.S. Some scammers will manipulate caller ID technology so that it appears they are calling from a legitimate office or agency (e.g., FBI, IRS, USCIS, DHS, ICE, police). Scammers may also use personal information they legally or illegally obtained about students to scare individuals into providing immediate payment or information. Everyone should be careful about what personal information they share on social media (Facebook, LinkedIn etc.).
In many instances, scammers will:
- Claim they are from a U.S. agency or law enforcement.
- Provide some pieces of your directory or confidential information (e.g., passport number, SSN, employer) to try to convince you they are legitimate Identify false problems with your immigration record, work authorization, taxes etc.
- Threaten deportation or arrest.
- Tell you not to tell anyone since you have a legal issue.
- Ask for an immediate payment to correct the issue.
- Encourage you not to get off the phone until the payment has been received.
If you receive a threatening call or message from someone claiming to be a government or law enforcement official:
- Do not give the person any personal or financial information.
- Try to collect contact information from the caller.
- End the conversation immediately if threats and intimidation persist.
- Contact ISSS and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line.
In addition to reporting a scam to the local police department and our ISSS office, you can also report a scam to the following offices:
- Federal Trade Commission
- Colorado Attorney General’s Office
- Reporting Immigration Scams Outside of Colorado
If you are the target of a scam, you may want to contact the following on-campus offices to seek additional support or assistance:
- Office of Victim Assistance (OVA)
- Couseling and Psychiatric Services (CAPS)
- CU Boulder Police Department
- Identity Theft
- IRS Imposter Scams (Video)
- Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Information Blog
- Imposter Scams
- Scammers Go After International Students' Money
- Protect Yourself from Scams
- Common Scams
- Recognize and avoid job scams
- Beware of scholarship and financial aid scams
- Latest campus email phishing scams
- Scam Awareness
- Beware of Immigration Scams (Pamphlet)