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Beware of Scams (Phonecalls, WeChat Scams, and Others!)

We would like to take a moment to remind students to be extra cautious when it comes to possible SCAMS committed against international students in the United States.

In the past, ISAP has received reports of international students at CCA and from other institutions receiving fraudulent phone calls where they have been asked for money from someone claiming to be from the US government (Immigration or the IRS) or a representative from the Diversity Visa Lottery. This is a reminder that US Immigration will never call to ask you for money over the phone and the visa lottery does not have any associated costs.

Additionally, remember to protect your identifying information such as your social security number and your immigration documents, such as your passport, visa, and I-20. This information should only be shared under very specific circumstances (for example, with ISAP upon arrival, or to an HR department for an on campus or off campus job). Be very cautious, and please remember to email ISAP if you are unsure whether you should share any of this information with anyone.

Social Security SCAMS!

Increasingly, students are reporting to ISAP that they are receiving phone calls about problems with their social security number. Please review the Social Security Administration scams warning information to see that the SSN office typically uses mail, not phone calls to reach someone. The SSN warning site includes the following indicators that the call is a scam:

You should look out for:

  • A caller saying there is a problem with your Social Security number or account.
  • Any call asking you to pay a fine or debt with retail gift cards, wire transfers, pre-paid debit cards, internet currency, or by mailing cash.
  • Scammers pretending they’re from Social Security or another government agency. Caller ID or documents sent by email may look official but they are not.

If you receive a phone call about your social security number but have not previously requested that the SSN office contact you, hang up!

New WeChat and other mobile app based SCAMS:

We have also been made aware that in the past year, several students have been scammed using WeChat and other mobile payment platforms. Here is what you need to know:

  • Scammers will offer discounts or good exchange rates if a CCA student pays their tuition through their service instead of directly to the school.
  • The scammer takes the student's money and then pay their tuition with stolen credit cards. This is bad for many reasons, including the fact that the student's tuition remains unpaid, and the student's tuition was paid with a stolen card which could be a legal problem.
  • Now, the student still owes the same amount to the college, does not have the money anymore, and the scammers have the student's account information.

Here is how you can protect yourself:

  • Protect your information! Do not give your CCA account information to anyone.
  • TouchNet, the service CCA uses to process tuition payments, is international student friendly and can process international payments and is not subject to the same international regulations as money transferred to personal accounts.
  • Therefore, please pay your tuition DIRECTLY to CCA using our approved payment methods (TouchNet). Here is a Portal Guide on making a payment to your account.
  • Additionally, if you feel like your CCA account has been compromised, please contact the CCA HelpDesk immediately. ETS also recommends opting in for Duo two-factor authentication to protect your information further.

If you receive a call from someone asking for money, just be smart and cautious. If you receive a suspicious phone call or e-mail, we’d recommend consulting with an ISAP advisor before responding.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns for the ISAP staff, please email us at isap@cca.edu

If you get a scam call....

If you get a scam call of any kind, please report it to the Federal Trade Commission Complaint Form as soon as possible.