As an international student or a scholar at Oregon State University, you will receive many important emails and phone calls from OSU and other offices. We appreciate your attention and prompt responses.
But there are times when someone else might try to take advantage of your sincere attention and attempt to scam you or defraud you. Therefore, we believe it is crucial that you are aware of this important information.

Be Aware of Online and Telephone Scams

  • Caller ID or phone number looks like a government agency or police, or from an educational institution or local organization.
  • Telling you that you owe money or have committed some kind of fraud.
  • Fear, threats, and intimidation tactics to get you to cooperate.
  • Seeming like an urgent matter requiring immediate action.
  • Threats of deportation or arrest for not acting immediately.
  • Demanding to keep you on the phone, insisting you can not call back later.
  • Use of legal-sounding jargon such as “lawsuit,” “federal regulations,” and “visa compliance officer” to sound as legitimate as possible.
  • Scams could be employment scams, financial aid scams, and could take many other forms.
  • If you live on campus or if the scam took place while on OSU campus, please call OSU Public Safety (541-737-3010). 
  • If you live off campus, please report it to Corvallis Police Department (541-766-6924).
  • If you come to OIS, we can help you with reporting it to authorities. 
    Report it to the Office of International Services (OIS) by either:
  • Report it to the FBI:
    • by calling the FBI headquarters (202-324-3000) with a tip or complaint about criminal activity. 
    • Report it electronically to the FBI. That is a database clearing house essentially, and the FBI will be able to co-locate this information with other scams that match this information.
  • Government agencies will NEVER ask you to pay money by phone or via email.
  • When a legitimate payment is required, you will receive an official notification letter with a verifiable address and a call back phone number.
  • When in doubt, ask for an ID badge, and phone number and tell them you’ll call them back later.
  • Do not accept checks that arrive in the mail unexpectedly (even if they have your name).
  • Never give your full social security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer ID number (ITIN) over the phone. Legitimate entities only ask for the last four digits of your SSN.
  • Use ONLY U.S. government websites for immigration forms and instructions.
  • Legitimate government websites always end with “gov.”
  • All forms are FREE to download.
  • In case you get defrauded or scammed, please report it immediately.
  • There is no penalty for reporting a scam.
  • The FBI and other U.S. government agencies are most effective to track down and disrupt scamming attempts within the first 48 hours!
  • Even if the scam takes place outside of the United States or via the internet, there is still a possibility to catch the scammers. You can help by reporting any unusual activity.