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Security, Scams targeting International Students and Scholars

International students and scholars have, unfortunately, been a frequently target for scams. Review this KB article to learn more about ways to educate yourself and how to prevent your information from ending up in the hands of cyber-attackers.

Cybersecurity and privacy have been a large focus as the University advances their posture on digital safety and educating the community in order to develop a risk aware culture.  We each also have a personal responsibility to use best practices to protect our personal data online. More than ever, cybercriminals have been targeting members of the University community in an attempt to steal personal and confidential information or send out countless spam emails using your student email. Students should remain vigilant and cautious when opening attachments and files from unknown senders. 


Recently, the Office of Identity, Privacy, and Cybersecurity has received several reports of international students who’ve become the target of a recent string of scams. This KB article will provide more information on ways to protect your identity and develop safe online habits.


International students and scholars are frequent targets for scams because of their supposed misunderstanding of how certain systems in the United States operate and many of the methods branches of government use to communicate. It should also be mentioned that scammers or cybercriminals will try to intimidate international students and scholars with baseless claims for deportation or termination of international studies for failing to obey orders. These are more commonly known as “law enforcement scams.”


The International Student and Scholars Services recently wrote a post titled, “Scam Safety.” This article covers, “what is a scam,” “where to look for scams,” “why international students and scholars should be vigilant about potential scams,” and more. Additional information is included in the post about the many types of scams that exist.


Hence, it is important that we, the Office of Identity, Privacy, and Cybersecurity, help relay information to international students and scholars which they can use to remain vigilant and steer clear of potentially dangerous scams.


We have several resources available for students to use to learn more about scams:

Students are also encouraged to enroll in the Student Cybersecurity course in Canvas should they want additional exposure to several topics such as phishing, digital identity, and computer security. More information can be found here. If there is a topic you're interested in learning about, please send us an email, and we'd be happy to point you in the right direction. Similarly, students are welcome to register for the Cybersecurity eText: Cybersecurity and You here. This eText aims to provide students with a deeper dive into cybersecurity practices, identity theft, and protecting our most vulnerable data assets. 


Any questions regarding Cybersecurity Training and Awareness can be addressed to Tickets in TDX can also be transferred to the UIUC-TechServices-Cybersecurity Training and Awareness group for further evaluation.


Any general questions can be referred to the Technology Services Help Desk, by either contacting or 217-244-7000. If you are unsure whether an email is or isn’t a scam, please report it to us. Students are encouraged to use the Outlook 'report-spam' add-in feature which is sent to Cybersecurity Incident Response team for review. 


If you’re reporting an incident or an urgent cybersecurity event, please send an email to or call 217-265-0000, option 3 to reach a 24-7 on-call cybersecurity analyst. Other general cybersecurity questions can be addressed to

Keywordssecurity, privacy, student awareness, international students, phishing, law enforcement scams, online habits, protection, international scholars   Doc ID123110
OwnerBilal K.GroupUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
Created2022-12-19 12:48:44Updated2024-05-23 15:42:01
SitesUniversity of Illinois Technology Services
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