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Scammers Target International Students on Social Media

July 29, 2015
As an international student studying in the United States, please be aware that scammers may target you for money. Scams are when strangers target unsuspecting individuals and lie to them in order to illegally receive money or personal information.
A scammer may target you by telephone, or through the internet on social media sites and apps like Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. The scammer may claim to be a school or government official, or say that the requested money is for services that will help you maintain your status or transfer to a new Student and Exchange Visitor (SEVP)-certified school.
Do pay your school tuition and established fees. However, it is important to know that the government will never contact you on social media to collect funds and a responsible designated school official (DSO) would not demand extra money to fulfill their responsibilities to you as a student.
If you believe that you are the target of a scam:
  • Disregard any request for money that you receive from an unknown person on social media; 
  • Do not give any personal information or money to the person on social media; and
  • Contact your known DSO so that they can report the incident to SEVP. 
Remember, SEVP requires that DSOs oversee F and M student records while they study in the Unites States. This includes transferring eligible students’ records to other SEVP-certified schools in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). If you are eligible, a school must transfer your SEVIS record upon request. 
Although social media has its risks, we can still work together to use it for our benefit. Please, help us protect fellow international students by sharing this message with your networks on Facebook and Twitter using #AvoidScams. 
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