What to Do if You are Contacted By a U.S. Government Official

During your stay in the United States, you may receive a phone call, email, text message or in-person visit from a U.S. government official. So what do you do?

First, do NOT provide any information about yourself, for identity-protection purposes.

Second, ask the person for as many details as possible.

For example, their name, government ID number or badge number, their phone number, what branch of the government they work for and the reason why they are contacting you.

Third, contact the ISSO. We can help you determine if the official is legitimate or if it's a scam. If the official is legitimate, we can help you navigate the process. 

You Have Rights

International Students are protected by the US Constitution. The ACLU resource Know Your Rights can explain these protections to you.

Tax Scam / U.S. Internal Revenue Service

In April 2014, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - the federal government tax collecting agency -- released a public notice regarding a recent scam where individuals say they represent the IRS. The Brandeis ISSO, and our colleagues at other institutions, indicated receiving a significant number of reports in 2014/early 2015. This type of scam has been seen from time to time, so please take warning. The IRS published warning, and instructions on how to report such scams, is on the IRS website.

Online Resources on How to Protect Yourself from Scams

If you believe you have been the victim of an immigration services scam, please notify the ISSO; and you can also report this scam to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.