Scam Awareness

The U.S. Department of State has contacted all U.S. schools who sponsor international students and scholars about the problem of scams. Common types of scams occur by phone, mail, and through the internet.

Phone Scams

  • Callers have identified themselves as officers from: The Social Security Administration, the FBI, Homeland Security, ICE, USCIS, the IRS, District Attorney, and local police in the U.S. or from abroad.
  • Phone numbers appearing on caller ID are spoofed so that they appear to be from the actual agency the caller pretends to be from.
  • Callers are aggressive and authoritative, using convincing key words, and threatening arrest and deportation if instructions are not followed.
  • Callers may ask you to purchase gift cards to make payments.

Mail Scams

Online Scams

Protect Yourself

Protect your personal information, account information, and social media. Scammers may be based in your home country and speak your native language. Be sure to protect your non-U.S. account information as well.

Online Resources on How to Protect Yourself from Scams

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services - Avoid Scams


Visit Brandeis Campus Police and the ISSO for assistance. You will not get in trouble for telling us about a criminal or suspicious activity.