Scams and Frauds

Please be careful to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft or other scams. Identity theft means that someone has taken some of your personal information (such as your name, address, Social Security number, etc.) and used it to illegally purchase items or apply for credit-based activities under your name. The perpetrator can also use your information to try to gain access to your financial accounts.

One scam that you might encounter involves receiving phone calls from someone pretending to be employed by a government agency such as USCIS or the IRS. They might have specific information about you such as your date of birth, I-94 number, etc. They will likely indicate that you need to give them additional information or even send them money in order to maintain your legal status in the United States. This is a scam. These agencies will never call you and ask you to give money or information over the phone. If you receive such a phone call, hang up and do not give any information about yourself. Refusing to give information or send money over the phone will never cause you to lose your legal status in the United States.

Regarding the transfer of money, you should be very careful with any intermediary or third party person who offers to help send money to someone, whether it is within the United States or an international transfer. Transferring funds to another person should never require you to pay a large sum of money before the actual transfer, short of any fees the financial institution (e.g. Western Union) may charge for the service. Be suspicious of anyone who says they need to validate or test your bank account by sending you a check to deposit into your account and then asking you to send the money back to them. They may write fake checks and you could be responsible for the negative sum in your bank account.

Finally, it is common to receive emails known as “phishing” emails that appear to be from a person or organization that you know and trust, asking you to click on a link and give information such as account numbers, passwords, etc. Do not click on these links. Take a close look at the email address from which the message has been sent. There is a good chance that it is not an authentic email from the organization it claims to be from. If you are unsure, forward it to IT Services (ithelp@miamoh.edu) to ask for clarification

If you ever receive a phone call, email, or request that makes you feel uneasy, collect as much information as possible (e.g. the number that the call is coming from, the person’s name who is making the request, etc.), hang up, and report the call or request to ISSS or the Miami University Police Department.