The International Center would like to warn you about phone calls from criminals pretending to be from U.S. government agencies such as U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the IRS (Internal Revenue Service), or the Michigan Department of Treasury.
The caller may ask for personal information and may even try to threaten you by saying that the police (or other agencies) will arrest you for not filling out a form or not paying your taxes. The calls may be "robo-calls" making "urgent" callback requests. Also, criminals sometimes use “spoofing services” to choose the number or name that shows up on your phone, so the call may appear to come from a government agency, but it actually does not. These calls are fake or “scam” calls.
Please be careful! Criminals have stolen money from international students this way. You should also be very careful about giving out personal information over the phone.
USCIS will not call you to ask for any form of payment over the phone. If the IRS or the Michigan Treasury Department believes that you owe taxes or if they have questions about your tax forms, they will write you a letter. If you receive a call like this, just hang up. Also, U.S. government agencies will never ask for payment with iTunes cards.
If you receive a call like this and are not sure what to do: Call the International Center or the U-M Police Department (734-763-1131). The U-M Police Department is always open so if you get a call like this at night or over the weekend you can always call them for advice. Call for advice BEFORE sending money and before giving out personal information.
For more information about these calls and about what to do;
- 4/19/2017: Scam Alert: DHS OIG Hotline Telephone Number Used in Scam to Obtain Personal Information
- The U.S. Government has also prepared information for students (but it is useful for everyone) to help you avoid these scams: Important Message to Students: Protect Yourself from Scams
- The IRS and the Michigan Department of Treasure have also prepared information: