Scam alert: Individuals posing as ICE officers threaten international students at SUNY Oswego

OSWEGO, N.Y.  — Scammers have been posing as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents pretending to demand money from international students. These individuals threaten students of being arrested or deported unless they pay X amount of dollars. 

Affected students are contacted by the fraudsters by either phone call or email. University Police and International Services from SUNY Oswego recommend students to report the incidents. They remind students that ICE Agents will never ask for money.

“It is important for students to realize that if individuals are contacting them and trying to get money from them, it is going to be a scam” said Matthew Barbeau, Lieutenant of The New York State University Police. “It happens every semester. So it is not uncommon, unfortunately”.

University Police say that identifying suspects is such a difficult task as scammers may hide under private networks or may use fake phone numbers and addresses.  Especially for a small state agency as SUNY Oswego Police, said Barbeau.

“It is incredibly difficult to track down the individuals who are doing these scams, just because a lot of them are based on the Internet” Barbeau said. “So you are not sure where they are. There is almost always going to be in another state, if not, another country”.

The International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), has sent an email warning about the situation to warn students about these frauds. ISSS recommends reporting the incident to University Police at this link: Also, students can forward suspicious emails to to verify its authenticity.