SEVIS I-901 Fee Fraud Alert
Recently, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) became aware that scammers are targeting students in the Chicago area in an attempt to solicit funds on behalf of the I-901 Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) Fee. Scammers are requesting those targeted to send up to $4,000 to avoid deportation. The scammers are using the ‘Location Services’ app on students’ cellular devices to find the students’ location and threaten them with continued pursuit if they do not receive the money. The incidents are currently under investigation by the Chicago Police Department and SEVP intends to cooperate fully and will provide additional information as it becomes available.
The following are Red Flags to lookout for to help identify if the call you receive is indeed a scammer:
- Red Flag 1
- The caller is attempting to collect an I-901 Fee on behalf of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and SEVP.
- The process that SEVP has in place for the collections of unpaid I-901 Fees does not involve contacting students via phone to threaten or request money.
- Red Flag 2
- The caller requests a lot of money (up to $4,000 in the recent Chicago cases).
- An I-901 Fee is $200 at the most. The only time the requested Fee will be more is if a student has a returned check. The additional amount would be limited to small, related service charges for bank processing.
What to do if you receive this type of phone call?
- Do not give any information to the person on the phone, and do not send any funds to the scammers.
- Call your local Police Department and contact the OISS office so we can report the incident to SEVP.
If you have any questions or think you've been targeted by one of these scammers, please contact OISS.
Office of International Students & Scholars