Please be wary of any phone calls or emails that you may receive from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regarding your tax situation, especially at this time of year. International students & scholars are often targeted by anonymous individuals alleging to be police officers or individuals working for the Internal Revenue Service in an attempt to extort money from them. This is considered a scam or dishonest act.
The IRS website describes potential scams that could affect you. If you receive any suspicious emails from the IRS, report them to the IRS.
U.S. government officials will NOT contact you asking for money or personal information such as a Social Security Number, bank account, credit card information, passport number, or I-94 card number. If a caller asks for these things, stay calm and do not give out any personal information. Here are some steps you should take if you receive a suspicious phone call from someone claiming to be from a government agency:
• Calmly ask what the call is about. Take specific notes about what the caller is saying and requesting.
• Politely request the agent’s information. Write down the agent’s full name, agency, and any identification number he or she can provide. Also request his or her direct phone number so you can call back. If the caller doesn’t want to give you this information, it is probably a scam.
• Immediately contact an international student or scholar advisor with the information you have recorded. ISSS will help you to investigate the reason for the call and determine if it is valid. If it is a fraudulent call, it should be reported the police. ISSS can help you with this.
Remember that you have rights. Don’t ever give out any personal information or money to someone who calls you unexpectedly.
If you have any questions, feel free to email email@example.com (for scholars) or firstname.lastname@example.org (for students).