Avoid Scams: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and IRS-related Scams

There has been a growing number of reports of students and scholars receiving calls from people claiming to be from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will never call and ask for money for training, products, forms, or to correct immigration records. They will not ask to verify personal information such as your social security number (SSN)/ITIN, bank accounts, or credit card details.

If you receive a call requesting your financial or personal information do not respond and hang up the phone. USCIS will never call you to ask for any form of payment over the phone. Don’t give payment information or personal information about yourself over the phone to anyone claiming to be a USCIS official.

More information can be found on the following websites:

Avoiding USCIS Scams
Common Immigration Scams
USCIS brochure: UPIL Brochure_English

IRS tax-related scams and identity theft:

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will never contact you via email/phone. If you receive such an email, do not open it, as it likely contains some sort of virus or malware. You should never provide your SSN/ITIN to anyone via email. Also, the Sprintax support center will never ask you to send your SSN/ITIN via email – and you should never include it when sending a support email.

Refund email scam:

There are several variations of the refund scam, in which an email claiming to come from the IRS falsely informs the recipient that he or she is eligible for a tax refund for a specific amount. The bogus email instructs the recipient to click on a link to access a refund claim form. The form requests personal information that the scammers can use to access the email recipient’s bank or credit card account. This notification is phony. The IRS does not send unsolicited emails about tax account matters to taxpayers.

Filing a tax return is the only way to apply for a tax refund; there is no separate application form. Taxpayers who wish to find out if they are due a refund from their last annual tax return filing may use the “Where’s My Refund” link at www.irs.gov – the only official IRS Web site.

More information about phishing and other schemes using the IRS name can be found here