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 really 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
  • The caller ID or phone number looks like a government agency or police.
  • They might tell you that you owe money or have committed some kind of fraud.
  • They usually use fear, threats, and intimidation tactics to get you to cooperate.
  • They make it sound like an urgent matter that requires an immediate action.
  • They might include threats of deportation or arrest for not acting immediately.
  • They might demand to keep you on the phone and insist to that you not call back later.
  • They might use lots of legal-sounding jargon such as “lawsuit,” “federal regulations,” and “visa compliance officer” to sound as legitimate as possible.
  • 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).
  • Report it to the Office of International Services (OIS) by contacting our Front Desk at the University Plaza Suite 130, call us at 541-737-6310 or email us at OIS.Student@oregonstate.edu. You can also come to the walk-in hours 2 to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Remember: if you come to OIS, we can help you with reporting it to authorities.
  • Report it by calling the FBI headquarters with a tip or complaint about criminal activity. Their phone number is 202-324-3000.
  • 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.