The total amount of money given out by students to scammers, owing to ignorance, is as large as $88,064, since Move-In Day! Learn the signs of the common scams among students at USC and spread the word of caution.

The Employment Scam – Students receive job advertisements, about admin job opportunities. After being hired they are asked to pay for equipment costs later giving you fake checks to reimburse you for the same.

The Online Dating Scam- You might encounter people who after many virtual interactions convince you to undress over a video chat. After recording you in a compromising situation, they threaten to share this with your friends on social media unless you pay them a large sum of money.

The IRS Scam- Callers claim to be IRS employees and may know a lot about you. They might inform you that you owe money to the IRS and it must be paid promptly via a gift card or wire transfer. They might also threaten to arrest you. The scammers also leave an “URGENT” callback request if the phone isn’t answered.

Scammers are targeting international students in Southern California. They are posing as agents of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), travel companies, apartment leasing companies, and immigration agencies – such as the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Patrol, US Citizenship and Immigration Services, and U.S. Embassies abroad.

Never provide personal information or money to anyone who has contacted you by phone, email or the Internet claiming you have violated your immigration status and must transfer money through Western Union, or other companies, in order to rectify your immigration status. If you are contacted by such persons, do not reveal any personal information. Ask for their contact information, and report the incident to the USC Department of Public Safety and OIS immediately.

Please be informed and alert at all times. We do not want you falling victim to a scam. For more information click here.

If you have been the victim of a scam or unsure if you were contacted by a scammer, report the crime to DPS by calling (213) 740-6000 OR to the Los Angeles Police Department by calling (887) 275-5273


Published on April 19th, 2019

Last updated on April 1st, 2021