International students and scholars should be aware of and protect themselves scams and identity theft. Scams are illegal attempts to get you to pay money or give up your personal information through deceit and fraud. International students and scholars are frequent targets of scams across the US, and individual victims have lost thousands of dollars. By educating yourself, you can avoid becoming the victim of a scam or identity theft. Please read below for more information about how to recognize and protect yourself from scams.
Scams can include immigration and visa scams, tax scams, Social Security scams, and apartment scams. Scammers also can contact you through cell phone calls, e-mail, mail, and other means. Some common scams include:
Read about other types of scams here.
Many scams today are very sophisticated. Scammers may appear to have detailed personal information about you, making the scam seem believable and realistic. The scammers may also contact you through multiple phone / Zoom calls to make the scam situation seem legitimate or real. Here are some common signs of scams:
Quick Tip: The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) will never call you directly about tax or Social Security matters. While it is possible you might be contacted by the US Department of Homeland Security or by the FBI, these direct contacts are extremely rare, and will never involve a demand for money. Always get the caller's information and arrange to meet them at school. Contact the International Center and/or the Tufts University Police Department to assist you.
Guide: How to Recognize a Phishing Scam
If you believe you are a victim of a scam or identity theft, call the International Center at (617) 627-3458 or the Tufts University Police Department at (617) 627-3030. You can also report suspicious phone calls that might be scams directly to the Tufts University Police Department.