UCI International Center

Scam Alert

Scam Alert


A scam is a fraudulent or deceptive scheme to take your money, your property or personal information.  Scammers try to scare you into giving them what they want.

These individuals may contact you by phone, e-mail or social media. The person contacting you may say that they are from a government office, from a law enforcement agency, a bank, or potential employer. Some of these “scammers” are specifically targeting international students and scholars.

Important reminders:

  • Government offices/agencies, banks and legitimate business will never ask for any form of payment or personal information over the phone or email. 
  • Do not provide any sensitive and private information to anyone who calls and asks for it.
  • Do not send money or any type of payment to anyone who calls or contacts you by phone, e-mail or social media.
  • If someone is threatening you or pressuring you to give information because something bad will happen to you (for example, arrest). This is a scam.
  • Use the  UCI Off-Campus Housing website to search for off-campus housing. 


Below are links that provide additional information on some of the most common scams. Reviewing this information is a good way to be aware and to learn how to recognize a scam.

Immigration Scams

IRS Scam

Social Security Number Scam

Identity Theft

Imposter Scams

Rental Listing Scams

Housing Scams

Information about recent scams is available on the Federal Trade Commission website. 

Fraudulent Phone Calls:

Scammers use a technique called ID spoofing to display a misleading phone number in a recipient’s Caller ID. It may appear that they are calling from a legitimate phone number. They will pose as an official from a government agency. They may demand you to send money or gift cards in order to avoid arrest or deportation.

Phising Websites or Email Message:

Scammers may try get your personal and sensitive information through email. This is called “phishing.” Phishing is “the activity of defrauding an online account holder of financial information by posing as a legitimate company.”

Some scams use websites that may look legitimate to capture personal or financial information. These false websites could use a recognizable business of organization's name or logo.

For additional information about how to recognize Phishing emails, you may visit UCI Information Security and Privacy.