Chicago Area International Students Targeted in Deportation Scam

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has reported that students are receiving phone calls demanding payment of up to $4000 to pay the I-901 SEVIS Fee and avoid deportation. These calls are fraudulent and students should hang up immediately. 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.

SEVP, United States Customs and Immigration Services (USCIS), or Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you via phone or email.

What to do if you receive a call:

If the caller identifies themselves as a SEVP, USCIS, IRS or other government official, hang up immediately. It is a scam. Government departments do not call and threaten students, request bank or any other personal details. Report the call to the International Center by stopping in, calling or emailing

Helpful tip: Do not answer a call if you do not know the number/person calling. Instead, let it go to voicemail. You can always return the call if it is someone you know. If the voicemail claims to be USCIS/Immigration/IRS, it is a scam.

What to do if you receive an email:

Do not open it as it likely contains some sort of virus or malware. You should never provide your SSN/ITIN to anyone via an email. Also, the SPRINTAX Support Center will never ask you to send your SSN/ITIN via email – and you should never include it when sending in a support email.

Finally, if you receive an email from a company that claims they are helping the IRS to deliver tax refunds, this is also a scam. If you choose to receive your tax refund by check, it will be mailed to you directly from the IRS.

Do not hesitate to contact the International Center for further information by phone at 312.567.3680, or email at