Scam Information & Alerts

Scam Information & Alerts

Scams can come in the form of phone calls or email and are unsolicited attempts to get personal information or money from you under false pretenses. International students and scholars continue to be subjected to scams involving calls appearing to be someone from a government agency and even 911. The caller may demand personally identifiable information or payment with a specific method such as wire transfer or gift cards to resolve an error with your record. These calls are completely false. There has also been an increase in email scams with offers of employment that require little work for a lot of money. These emails are scams.

In some cases, the caller or emailer may claim you did something wrong regarding your immigration status or taxes, and that you are going to be deported. They may claim that you are under surveillance, and that you cannot contact any other individual or go to any website to confirm this issue. They may state that you must wire money to them to start an investigation, or to pay a fine, etc. and they ask you to provide other sensitive personal and financial information in the process including your Social Security Number, bank account information, and other identity documents. Even if the caller or emailer already has a lot of information about you, do not share any additional personal or financial information such as your SSN, bank account, or debit/card information.  Do not click on links or download attachments from senders not known to you.

Active scam alerts are posted below.  Please also review our tips on how to protect yourself if you receive a scam phone call.

Scam Alerts

December 2, 2022

OIS has been made aware of another scam attempt where the scammer appears to call from a NC State phone number and impersonates a university employee. The scammer tells the student they have failed to fill out immigration paperwork and says that the student will receive a phone call from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with further details. Students then receive a second phone call from someone impersonating an ICE officer. That person also reports that immigration forms are missing and they demand immediate payment to “correct” the problem. Payment has been demanded by Zelle as well as gift cards. In some cases, the scammers become increasingly aggressive, make threats, and even threaten action and harm against family members in their home country. These scammers are relying on fear to scare students out of hard earned money.

Things to remember:

  • OIS helps to ensure your immigration record is in order while you are in F-1, J-1, J-2, or F-2 status and would communicate with you by email first if action was needed to fix an issue.
  • US government agencies (including ICE) do not call threatening immediate action (including fines, imprisonment, or bodily harm)for failure to complete immigration actions.
  • No governmental entity will call and/or text you or threaten retaliation for failing to respond or provide information.
  • No US governmental entity will call and/or text you to seek payment.
  • NEVER divulge personal or financial information to unknown callers.

Please see the “What Should I Do” section below if you feel you have been the victim of a scam.

July 21st, 2022

OIS has been made aware that some students are receiving unsolicited emails with part-time internship/employment opportunities wherein the emailer asks for additional contact information (i.e. phone number) or personal identifying information (i.e. birthdate) in order to provide you with more information about the job opportunity or to consider you for the position. Usually these emails promise a large amount of money for little work. In most cases, legitimate employers do not send unsolicited emails asking for personal information unrelated to your job qualifications or experience. If the sender is not someone you’ve met at a job fair or related to a job for which you’ve applied, you should automatically be cautious about the legitimacy of the email. For example, if it’s claiming to be from a NC State staff or faculty member, is the sending address an address? 

Once the scammers have your personal information, they will contact you via email or text and continue to ask for more personal information or to provide you with details on how to set up a direct payment system with them. Please be cautious of e-check scams. In an e-check scam the scammers will email you a check image (calling it an electronic check) and ask you to deposit this check into your bank account- you should note that no legitimate company will pay an employee with an emailed image of a check. This is in fact considered check fraud. While there are legitimate ways a company can pay an employee using an e-check, emailing an image of a check to someone is not a legal use of an e-check. 

Things to remember:

  • NEVER volunteer personal identifying information after clicking an unsolicited link sent through email.
  • Paychecks are issued by University Payroll within the University Controller’s Office. Individual professors do not send paychecks to students.
  • If an overpayment from NC State ever occurred, you would be able to confirm this information with University Payroll directly.
  • F-1 and J-1 students need prior authorization to participate in any kind of off-campus employment. You should not accept an offer for off-campus employment without first discussing with OIS (so OIS can advise you on what type of authorization you will need to participate).
  • See the FAQs below if you believe you’ve been the victim of a scam.

If you receive a scam phone call, understand the following:

  • No government agency or agent will call you to demand payment over the phone. Even in cases where legitimate money is owed (such as taxes) the government will communicate with you in writing, not over the phone.
  •  911 is not a number that you will receive a call from. The only time that 911 may legitimately show up as a number in your caller ID is in the case of a “Reverse 911” call (which will give safety information advising a threat in your area, and is usually a recorded message. Very similar to the Wolf Alert system).
  • The government will not demand a particular method of payment (such as wire transfer, gift cards, etc.). There will be multiple methods of payment available.
  • The government will not ask for your personal or financial information such as your SSN, bank account information, credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
  • The government will not threaten arrest or deportation over non-payment.
  • A government agent cannot remain anonymous- they must disclose badge information.

While on the call:

  1. Do NOT transfer any money or share any personal or financial details, even if the caller already has a lot of information about you.
  2. Try to get the name and contact number for whomever is calling, along with a badge number.
  3. HANG UP!!! Do not answer any additional calls from that number.
  4. Report it to the Federal Trade Commission at
  5. Call NC State University Police at 919-515-3000 immediately to report it to the university.Then call OIS at 919-515-2961 or email

  1. Call NCSU Police at 919-515-3000 to file a report. The police will most likely not be able to get you back your money if the money was already picked up after being wired. However the police report can be helpful in making other credit protection reports.
  2. Please also notify OIS so that we can keep abreast of new aspects to any fraud scam to further alert students and scholars.
  3. If you gave someone your Social Security Number, report that to the SSA. Also read this publication for additional information.
  4. Report it to the Federal Trade Commission or to an appropriate state authority. Click here for information on where to report scams in your state.
  5. Monitor your credit. The Federal Trade Commission has developed an extensive guide to managing identity theft. Some of this you may not need if you are not noticing any fraudulent activity on your credit report, but you must check your credit report to be sure. You are entitled to a free report every year.

OIS and NC State University strictly protects your status as an international student or scholar. Most often, identifying you as someone on a visa is an informed guess based on information that you have made public.

  1. Check your Linkedin and other job search accounts. Remove your phone number and address from any posted resume or summary of your work history. Leave only email.
  2. Check all other social media accounts, particularly if they are public. Remove your phone number for those accounts, and be careful with the personal information you post.
  3. Check your Directory information on the NC State website. You can choose what you want listed on the Directory such as only listing email, and students can also choose to not be listed at all.