IRS scam targeting international students and scholars

March 26, 2015—Unfortunately, during tax season we often see an increase in the number of scams that target international students and scholars in the US. Since our most recent email about this issue in February, we have heard about multiple scam attempts targeting students here at Emory.

These encounters can be troubling and you may want to resolve them as quickly as possible, but there are some steps you should take to avoid being scammed.

Please keep these tips in mind:

  • If you receive a call from someone who says they are with the International Revenue Service (IRS), please hang up—even if your caller ID shows that the call is from the IRS. If you think you might owe federal taxes, hang up first and then call 800-829-1040, and IRS workers will help answer your payment questions. Note that the IRS will always contact you by mail first.
  • Don’t provide or confirm your social security number, bank account, credit card info, or passport  number if you get a call from someone claiming they are with the IRS, USCIS or another government agency. Government agencies will not call you to ask for money or personal information.
  • If you receive a call or an email telling you to make a payment immediately by phone or a hyperlink, or to withdraw or wire transfer funds right away, simply decline. If this is a legitimate bill or fine, you should have received written correspondence before the call.
  • If you are contacted by someone claiming to have information about your immigration status, contact your ISSS advisor right away. If you’re not sure whether it’s a legitimate call, ask your ISSS advisor for guidance.
  • If you are contacted by someone who threatens to file a lawsuit against you, revoke your driver’s license, arrest you, or deport you, hang up and contact your ISSS advisor. The scammer might provide a fake IRS badge number, send bogus emails to support their call, or imitate a local police officer or Department of Driver Services employee—and they might know the last 4 digits of your social security number.
  • More tips from Emory Police >>