UCLA warned international students and employees about scammers targeting foreigners and their families in an email Monday.
The Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars sent the warning after recent cases of fraud against international students and employees. In some cases, people posed as immigration or tax officials asking for personal information over the phone.
The email said that the center and government agencies, like the U.S. Department of State, Internal Revenue Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, do not ask people to provide information like credit card numbers, Social Security numbers or banking information over the phone.
According to the email, in one case reported to the NAFSA: Association of International Educators on Feb. 1, one student received a fraudulent email from someone claiming to be an U.S. Department of State employee and asking to meet with the student to discuss their visa application process.
In another case reported to the Dashew Center in October 2014, a UCLA employee received a call from a person posing as a Department of Homeland Security officer, who threatened to deport the individual unless they paid $15,000. The center said the employee lost $13,000 in the scam.
The center said students can report scamming incidents to the Federal Trade Commission or to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. It also encouraged students to contact a counselor from the center if they have any questions.