with a very official looking e-mail, a phone call from what appears to
be an official number, lost or stolen wallets, or stolen mail. There
are always new schemes
being developed where people create notices through mail, email or even
by phone that appear very official, but they are not. We call these
“scams” as they are trying to steal your personal information to commit
crimes. Another term is “phishing” which uses
e-mail and computers to try and obtain your personal information.
it OK to give out my personal data?
your bank, employer, the Internal Revenue Service (for tax purposes),
Department of Motor Vehicles (for your license application) have a
legitimate need to collect your personal information. Utility
companies, cell phone providers, prospective landlords, and credit card
companies (for your credit card applications) will also
ask for your personal information such as a social security number
(SSN.) However these entities understand identity theft issues and
would never request your information in a way/ through a medium that
would put you at risk. When it doubt, do not give out
your personal information.
What can you do to prevent identity theft?
- Ask OISS, your employer or school administrator before you give out personal information
- Keep personal date (bank account number, SSN, passport, etc…) in a safe and secure place
- You have no obligation to respond
immediately (to mail, e-mail or phone calls) so disregard the request
until you can talk to others to see if it is legitimate
- Know that immigration officials would never ask for a fee payment over the phone
- Most offices (Yale, banks, U.S. government) would never ask for your SSN, or personal passwords over e-mail
- Phone call scams: If they insist on
immediate action, ask for their name and phone number and say you will
call them back in a few minutes. Then ask others (including OISS) if the
situation sounds legitimate or not
Resources to understand or report Identity Theft
- Please report any immigration fraud issues to OISS