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UC San Diego police warn international students of phone and tuition scams

Posted at 10:50 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-25 08:28:33-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- UC San Diego police are warning staff and students about a scam targeting international students.

The school’s police department says the scams were first reported in July, and since then, a number of victims have collectively lost over $212,000.

University police say scammers are using two different methods. In some cases, they are calling students posing as the IRS or police from their home countries and threatening arrests, prison or visa denials if the students don't send money.

The other scam promises international students a tuition discount if the students allows a third party to pay their fees. The scammer then tries to pay their tuition with a stolen or fake credit card, but by the time the transaction is denied, the money is gone.

Some UC San Diego international students told 10News they understand why they would be targeted, since they do not know about these types of scams. Some students admitted to receiving strange calls but hanging up immediately before any conversation started.

University police want students to remember to never share personal information and that the IRS and police will never ask for money to avoid arrests.

If students do get a call asking for money or information, they are asked to call police or school officials before sending any money over the phone or online.