Tips to Avoid Scams

Current Scam Alert

Recently, there has been an increased scam threat targeting international students.
Examples of these scams include:

  • Students are approached and told to not contact family or respond to family calls until further notice or your family will be harmed. They then contact the family and falsely claim the student was kidnapped and demand ransom.
  • Students receive calls from people claiming to be the IRS.
  • Parents are called in the home country with information about the student.
  • Students receive calls from people claiming to be USCIS with an arrest warrant.

These are only a few examples. Please be extremely vigilant when receiving a call like this, do not share any personal/family information over the phone or online, and if you suspect anything, immediately contact the police (university police or the Metropolitan Police). You should also contact ISSS by phone or email or walk in to ISSS during the week 9:00 am-5:00 pm.

General Information About Scams

Scammers are persistent, authoritative, claim immediate payment or personal information. They usually say you either owe money or have committed some kind of fraud. Please contact ISSS if you feel you are facing a situations similar to the ones below are aware of another member of the AU community being at risk:

  • Callers identifying themselves as law enforcement or Department of Homeland Security Officers and asking money for any number of reasons and threaten you with deportation if you fail to make payments. Do not be fooled by the caller ID even if the phone number may seem to belong to local police.
  • Mail claiming the above or providing you with a phone number to call for outstanding student fee payment.
  • Online scams or Emails promising a Green Card if you register for the Lottery.
  • Receiving PayPal, Craigslist, or EBay emails requiring payment for things other than you are sure about or extra payments for your own postings.
  • Temporary job placement firms, consultants, or agencies promising job placements to avoid the 90-day unemployment if you complete forms or reply to questions with your SS number, DOB, Bank account information, etc.
  • Job placement service for rewriting your resume with false information for jobs you otherwise do not qualify.
  • Received a check in the mail unexpectedly from someone you do not know.

If you are a Chinese student, you can see a message from the Chinese Embassy about scams targeting Chinese students here.

President Trump's Executive Order on Immigration

On September 24, 2017, President Trump issued Proclamation 9645, restricting entry to the United Sates for the nationals of 8 countries (Chad [removed effective April 13, 2018], Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, North Korea and Venezuela). A Presidential Proclamation of April 10, 2018, however, removed Chad from the list of countries subject to Proclamation 9645, effective April 13, 2018. On December 4, 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States lifted preliminary injunctions that had been issued by U.S. District Courts in Hawaii and Maryland. This allows the government to fully enforce the Travel Ban on all countries covered by Proclamation 9645. The Proclamation 9645 restrictions are country-specific, and tailored to the situation of each individual country. For more information click here.

Support Services During Challenging Times


  • International Student & Scholar Services
  • Kay Spiritual Life Center
  • Counseling Center
  • Academic Support and Access Center
  • Dean of Students
  • Wellness Center
  • Center for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Any Member of the AU Community including Faculty, Advisers, Administrators

In the Community

Metropolitan Church on Nebraska Avenue across from the SIS building. The Reverend Janette Craswell reached out to ISSS and they are ready to help. Please call 202-363-4900.