WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind (WLFI) - Purdue University Police and the Office of International Student Services are advising international students to be aware of ongoing phone call scams.
The calls aim to gain personal information from students in an attempt to get money. University Police say the scammers are pretending to part of the student's consulate.
Oftentimes speaking in their native language, they demand money or gift cards from the students. The scammers say the student is having visa troubles or that the money will help avoid any issues with immigration. Other instances include someone posing as a banker asking for students to update their bank account.
Purdue University Police Department Captain Keene Red Elk says to reach out if you receive a suspicious call. "We really want our students to understand that these are not legitimate. If they have concerns, if they get these phone calls and they're just not sure to contact their local law enforcement agencies," said Red Elk.
Investigators say international students can be easier targets since they're already often unfamiliar with local conventions. "If you think about when we go to a different country what a learning curve it is for us to understand their ways, things as simple as even traffic laws, things like that. They're coming here, this isn't just a visit for them. This is for their careers, this is for education," added Red Elk.
Government agencies will never ask for your information over the phone. In the event of someone asking for personal information over the phone, you should always hang up immediately.