New scam targets international students, families

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LINCOLN, Neb. -- A complex new scam is targeting international students and their families.

According to the University Police Department, the scam involves international students being told they are implicated in crimes back home. The scammers coerce victims into a series of actions and threaten to harm family members in their home country.

Simultaneously, family members overseas are informed by the scammers that their relative has been kidnapped and will only be released if a large sum of money is paid. In each case, the scammers communicate with the victims in their native language and falsely claim to be government officials from the student’s home country.

Similar version of this scam have been reported worldwide, including Canada and Australia. Students and family members should know that embassy or consulate officials will not advise of legal cases or seek to verify personal information over the phone.

University of Nebraska–Lincoln administrators are advising students and family members who believe they being or have been scammed to contact university police or a consulate immediately.