International students targeted by scammers
COLUMBIA - Scammers are posing as FBI or IRS agents to steal money from college students. The scammers are primarily targeting graduate and international students, telling them they could be deported.
The con artists are calling students saying they owe fees and asking them to transfer money.
Andrew Zumwalt, co-director of the Office for Financial Success at the University of Missouri, said scams are usually prevalent during tax season.
"We've been talking a lot about filing taxes, where to file taxes. And so the fact that the scams pick up now when it's more top of mind for people, they're more likely to pay attention to that scammer and maybe actually follow through with the scammer's intentions," he said.
Zumwalt said people should be careful about giving their information because it is difficult to get money back from these types of scams.
MU student Huong Truong said she was not surprised students were the main targets.
"I feel like scammers target students specifically because students aren't actually the most knowledgeable people when it comes to scams. Especially when it comes to credit card debt and or when it comes to financial issues," Troung said.
Zumwalt said people can sometimes identify scams. He said if someone is pushy over the phone, or if they fight to keep people on the line, they are probably scammers.
"If someone calls you and they say you need to pay now and they ask you for an unconventional form of payment using a wire transfer or going to a third party payment service, that's not the IRS," he said.
He also said anyone can report a potential scam on the IRS website.