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Scam Targeting International Students

It has come to our attention that there is a new scam targeting international students. There have been TWO reports of UW students falling victim to this scam. We are sharing this information so that you can protect yourself. This is what we know:

  1. Students received a call from “U.S. Border & Customs” warning that they “found a package with drugs in it with your name on it.” The cell numbers linked to this call are “206-209-6215” and “206-209-8147”
  2. Soon after, the same students received an additional follow up call from “U.S. Border & Customs.” This caller, who had a different voice, stated that during an “investigation,” they saw that the students’ bank accounts are linked to past known drug deals/ers. The cell number linked to this account is “929-269-1517.”
  3. Both students were asked to withdraw $2,500.00 and purchase various dollar value gift cards. The scammers instructed the students to give all the gift card codes to the caller. The cash is now gone and cannot be retrieved.

Please remember that ICE, USCIS, CBP, or any other government official will never call you and ask for money, money wires or gift cards for payment. Scammers tend to use official terms that will make it seem that they are a government agency, which is why students believe them—this is not the case.

If you receive a call like this, please do the following:

  • Hang up immediately.
  • Report the call to the anonymous ICE tip line at 1-866-347-2423.
  • Call the UW Police to file a police report at 206.685.8973.