Fraud Advistory: Student and Exchange Visitor Program and Social Security Number Scams

The US Department of Homeland Security released a bulletin on December 8, 2020 titled "Students: Watch Out for Scammers Using SEVP Phone Numbers".[1]

This very pertinent advisory goes over a scam "involving individuals using the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) Response Center (SRC) phone numbers (703-603-3400 and 800-892-4829) and claiming to be SRC representatives".  We want to make sure that everyone is aware of this scam and does not fall victim to it.  We highly recommend you take a look at the page to get a better understand of what the scam is, and what to do if you receive a phone call or email scam.

In addition, we would like to inform folks on some best practices when it comes to your Social Security Number (SSN).  In the US, your social security number is needed "to get a job, collect Social Security benefits and get some other government services".[2] You may also need your SSN when taking out a loan for a credit check.  All of these conversations should be started by you.  Never give out your SSN to someone who requests it unexpectedly.  Make sure you transfer your SSN securely.  Remember, sending email is not a secure means of communication[3], so find another way to do so, like Filelocker.[4]

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a good website on "What should I do if I get a call claiming there's a problem with my Social Security number or account?"[5]  Remember, that advise holds true no matter if it is a phone call, email, or text message.

If you have any questions or problems, please contact Human Resources for more information.[6]

Safe Computing!
Brian

[1] https://studyinthestates.dhs.gov/2020/12/students-watch-out-for-scammers...
[2] https://www.ssa.gov/ssnumber/
[3] https://security.ias.edu/node/22
[4] https://filelocker.ias.edu/
[5] https://faq.ssa.gov/en-us/Topic/article/KA-10018
[6] https://www.ias.edu/human-resources