More than one international student has reported stalking and extortion scams to the UC Police Department in the past two months, according to a timely warning sent out to all UC Santa Barbara students Tuesday afternoon.

The first report was received by the department on April 30. The initial victim, whose name and student status were not released, reported that she was “contacted via WhatsApp” – a texting app – “from a source she believed to be the Chinese police who said she owed money for unknown fees” between March 2019 and April 2019.

The source allegedly said that if the victim did not send in “a payment,” the victim would be arrested. She was further “asked for her schedule to track her whereabouts and was told not to report anything to law enforcement or she would be arrested,” the timely warning stated.

Since this initial report, the department received additional reports of UCSB international students who have received “phone calls or messages” from “people pretending to be package couriers, police, or Consulate staff who ask for money or personal identifiable information.”

The impersonators then “threaten to arrest and deport the student if they don’t comply.”

The UCPD is investigating these incidents. Anyone with more information can contact the department at (805) 893-3446 or submit an anonymous report here.


Evelyn Spence
Evelyn Spence harbors a great love for em dashes and runs on nothing but iced coffee, Jolly Ranchers and breaking news. She serves as the managing editor and can be reached at, or at @evelynrosesc on Twitter.