Scams and Frauds Targeting International Students
* Beware of scams and frauds at all time. *
Scammers will identify themselves as a police officer, government official, USCIS or ICE Agent, IRS tax representative, or university official. These scammers will use threatening tactics such as dismissal from the university, deportation from the US, or pending police arrest if payment is not made immediately.
Review information below about common identity, tax, and immigration scams targeting international students.
Report Fraud and Scams
Use the resources below to report suspected fraud or scams. Report immediatley if you feel you are a victim of a fraud or scam.
Report all suspicious activity. Know what to do when you receive a fraudulent email, phone call, or letter in the mail.
- Call to demand immediate payment for taxes or debt
- Threats to call police or have you deported
- Deny your ability to appeal or question the payment
- Require specific payment through prepaid cards: Example: iTunes Gift Card Scam
- Ask for sensitive information (SSN, date of birth, address, bank or credit card number)
- Redirecting you to an unsecure websites or unauthorized email and text message
How to Protect Yourself
- If you suspect fraud, end the conversation immediately
- Never share any personal or financial information (SSN, date of birth, address, bank or credit card number)
- Do not send money through mail or electronic transfer
- Do not click on suspicious links or access unsecured websites
- Do not open email attachments from unknown senders
How to Report
- Texas State University
- USCIS Fraud Tip Form – Immigration benefit fraud and abuse to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)
- Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line – Report suspicious criminal activity(Cyber Crimes, Terrorism, Intellectual Property Rights Violations, Document and Benefit Fraud)
- Immigration Fraud and Abuse Prevention Program – Report at EOIR.Fraud.Program@usdoj.gov for issues of fraud, immigration scams, and the unauthorized practice of immigration law
- Federal Trade Commission – Report any unfair, deceptive or fraudulent practices in the marketplace
- Texas Attorney General – Consumer Protection – Identity theft and consumer complaints
- Social Security Administration – Social Security Fraud
What to do if you get a call claiming to be with the IRS asking for a payment:
- If you owe federal taxes or think you might owe taxes, hang up immediately and contact IRS
- If you do not owe taxes, call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) at 800-366-4484
Frequently Asked Questions:
Many other non-governmental websites (e.g., addresses ending with ".com," ".org" or ".net") provide legitimate and useful immigration and visa-related information and services. Regardless of the content of other websites, the Department of State does not endorse, recommend, or sponsor any information or material shown on these other websites. The information provided may not be correct or up-to-date, so should always be verified by consulting an official US government source. Visa applicants are advised to be cautious in all dealings with companies that claim to offer any assistance in obtaining US visas.
Some websites and emails try to mislead customers and members of the public into thinking they are official U.S. government websites. These websites are designed to appear official, and often have images of the U.S. flag, U.S. Capitol, White House, or Statue of Liberty. What these websites and emails are missing is the “.gov” suffix on their addresses. Remember that anything that does not end with “.gov” should be considered suspicious.
For more information about international scams involving internet dating, inheritance, work permits, overpayment, and money-laundering, please visit International Financial Scams.