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Beware of Email or Phone Scammers

If you received a phone call or email claiming to be the Internal Revenue Services (IRS – tax agency), DHS, USCIS, ICE, or other government agency, it is very, very, likely a scam. Please report the incident to an ISSS advisor. Never share your SSN, Credit Card Number or other personal identification information with unknown persons or scammers. Recently, the U.S. Department of State shared this information with our office:

Telephone Scams Targeting International Students:  Increasingly, telephone scammers are impersonating J-1/F-1 sponsoring agencies, law enforcement personnel, and immigration officers to try to extort money from foreign visitors.  One telephone scam involved a caller impersonating a sponsor; the caller attempted to steal the exchange visitor’s personal information and defraud the exchange visitor of more than $1,500. A second example entailed scammers stating they were from law enforcement and that warrants had been issued for the exchange visitor’s arrest.  The scammers then advised the exchange visitor to pay many thousands of dollars to stop the warrant/arrest action.  Scammers often encourage exchange visitors to buy large numbers of gift cards and provide the numbers to the scammer, who then cashes them.  One university-based exchange visitor provided $8,000 in gift cards to someone impersonating a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) agent, who threatened action if the exchange visitor failed to provide the gift cards.