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Students: Protect Yourself from Common Scams

May 24, 2017

While you study in the United States, it is important to be aware of common scams to help keep your personal information safe.

Here are a few specific tips to help you avoid them.

Phishing Attacks

In May 2017, thousands of people in more than 150 countries were affected by the WannaCry ransomware phishing attack.

Phishing attacks use email or malicious websites to infect your device with viruses that collect personal information. These emails usually direct you to a website or ask you to reveal private information, such as your credit card data.

To protect yourself, you should avoid:

  • Accessing personal or bank accounts from a public computer or public Wi-Fi network.
  • Revealing personally identifiable information, such as your bank account number, Social Security number or date of birth to unknown sources or sources you do not trust.

Imposter Scams

Scammers often try to impersonate government officials to intimidate you into giving them your personal information or money. Recently, scammers have impersonated employees of the Canadian government’s Immigration, Refugee, and Citizenship Canada Call Centre.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a government official, you should:

  • Never 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 your designated school official and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line to report the scam.

Looking for more information on how to avoid scams while in the United States? Visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ website for tips on avoiding common scams or read the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Identity Theft and Internet Scams Tip Card.

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