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Health & Safety
- Where to Get Help
Where to Get Help!
Your health and safety matters! Below is a list of offices and services provided here on campus to help support your physical and mental wellness, as well as address any safety concerns.
- Avoid Scams & Fraud
Tips to Avoid Scams & Fraud
International students and scholars are unfortunately frequent targets for scams. It is important to educate yourself on the common scenarios and take steps to protect yourself. The information below is meant to educate you about common scams and how to safeguard your personal information.
What Is A Scam?
A scam is a dishonest attempt to obtain money, information, or something else of value. Scammers are people who will lie and misrepresent themselves as people with authority, often using intimidation to manipulate individuals into doing what they want.
Why Should International Students & Scholars Be Vigilant About Potential Scams?
International students and scholars are often frequent targets for scams due to their supposed lack of understanding about how certain systems in the United States function. Additionally, scammers will often try to intimidate international students and scholars with empty threats of arrest or deportation. As such, it is important to understand what types of scams exist, common scenarios scammers will use, and what to do if you find yourself being targeted.
How Will I Know If The Information I Have Received Is A Scam?
Unfortunately, scams come in many forms. Scammers will often know the basic personal information about their target, which can make them appear legitimate. Always follow these steps:
- Do not answer phone calls from numbers you do not know. Let the unknown call go to voicemail first. Prior to calling back, check to verify that you are calling a listed number. For example, if someone leaves a voicemail claiming to be your doctor, make sure that the return number is listed on your doctor’s website or documentation they have provided you.
- Watch out for “spoofed” numbers. Number “spoofing” makes the victim’s caller ID display a legitimate phone number even though the call is originating from somewhere entirely different. If you have doubts about a caller’s identity, do not answer and call the listed number for that agency to speak to a representative.
- If you receive a suspicious email, check the validity before responding or clicking the links. If the contents seem unusual (for example, a supervisor asking you for gift cards) or “too good to be true” (such as an offer to make $1,000/wk for three hours of work), confirm the authenticity of the message directly with the sender or unit in person or over the phone.
- Never give personal or financial information to someone you do not know. No official will ever demand money or have the power to revoke your immigration status. If you receive any form of communication (such as calls, emails, etc.) from someone claiming to represent the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, a law enforcement officer, a tax agent, or any other government or university authority, demanding money or confidential details, exercise extreme caution as it is likely a scam.
- Before responding to suspicious messages/calls, check with VIS or University Police. No matter what situation you are in, we are here to help you.
If you are unsure if a request is a scam or not, please contact the University Police Department at (631) 632-6350 or Visa and Immigration Services at (631) 632-4685 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you receive a threatening call from someone claiming to be a government or law enforcement official:
- Do NOT give out your personal or financial information
- Get contact information from the caller (name, badge number, telephone number)
- End the conversation immediately if threats / intimidation continue
- Contact the Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line
- Complete the IRS Impersonation Scam Reporting Form
- J-1 Exchange visitors should complete an incident report and email it to AGalert@state.gov
- International Student Health Insurance
International Student Health Insurance
All international students taking 1 or more credit hour (and their dependents) must carry health insurance coverage available through SUNY (or comparable coverage) for the duration of their academic registration at SBU. These policies also apply to J-1 student interns, and are set by SUNY Administration.
Automatic Enrollment and Billing
All international students are billed and enrolled into the SUNY health insurance once registered for at least 1 credit hour due to their student visa. No action is needed for an international student to be enrolled into the SUNY health insurance.
If a student has a personal health insurance, they may apply for a waiver to opt out of the SUNY health insurance. The personal health insurance must be comparable or better than the SUNY policy and meet all requirements to receive a waiver. Click here for more information on waiver requirements, procedures and deadlines.