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Dear Members of the Tufts International Community:

The International Center has received reports in recent weeks of an increase in the number of scams impacting our international students and scholars.

Scams involve persons ('scammers') who use illegal means to get you to pay money, often through deception, threats, and intimidation. Scams may also involve identity theft, in which you are led to give out your personal information (such as your date of birth, Social Security Number, and credit card numbers), which scammers then use for illegitimate purposes, such as opening fake accounts. Scams typically are conducted over the phone or by email rather than in-person. They are often very sophisticated and seem real, but come with demands that you pay fees, fines, and penalties using unusual methods, such as gift card purchases, wire transfers, and cryptocurrency purchases. Scammers often represent themselves - falsely - as members of the US federal government, law enforcement, tax authorities, internship providers or rental managers, or even as representatives of your home government. All of their efforts are directed toward convincing or coercing you into giving up your money and information.

Scams have been a persistent, nationwide (indeed global) problem for many years. However, scammers often target international students and scholars by exploiting their concerns and anxiety over immigration, tax, and other laws and regulations.

To avoid becoming the victim of a scam, it is essential to be aware and informed. We encourage you to read through the Scams and Identity Theft resource page on our website, as well as information about scams provided by the Tufts University Police. On these pages you will find examples of common scams as well as information on how you can recognize and protect yourself from such scams. If you believe you have been contacted by a scammer, or if you have become a potential victim of a scam, please reach out to the International Center at (617) 627-3458 or, and/or the Tufts University Police Department.

By informing yourself and taking appropriate precautions, you can stay safe from scams. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us.


Andrew K. Shiotani
Director, Tufts International Center