Feb 2, 2015 | Atlanta, GA
It's an unfortunate reality that international students are often targets of scams in the United States. Please see a recent article about scams targeting UGA students here.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim of a scam is to be aware and knowledgeable. This will be especially important as tax season approaches and new scams surrounding taxes appear. Following the below tips will help you to avoid becoming a victim of a scam:
1. Government agencies will not call you! This includes USCIS and the IRS!
There is a very sophisticated scam in which someone calls from a USCIS phone number (it is from an actual USCIS phone number!) and tells you that unless you wire money, you will be fined, deported, etc. In the past, these people have had students’ information including passport numbers, I-94 numbers, etc. This is a high-level scam! Do not give any personal information, bank information, or send any money!
2. Do not trust immigration information from people other than professionals who are qualified to give it to you.
International student advisors in OIE are trained to give information in F-1 and J-1 regulations so please come to us with any questions you have about your student status. OIE has a list of immigration attorneys that can be used for questions relating to other immigration statuses including H-1Bs, permanent residency, etc.
3. If you are contacted by someone claiming to have information about your student immigration status, contact OIE immediately! Georgia Tech holds your F-1 or J-1 SEVIS record and we are the ones who would terminate it if necessary.
If you receive a phone call or email from someone threatening your immigration record or that you feel is out of place, please contact OIE directly with as much information as possible. If OIE is not open, please contact the GT Police Department at 404-894-2500 to report this fraud.
You should always report any immigration scams, whether you participated or not, so that OIE is able to follow up with our available resources to report it. If we don’t know about, we can’t do anything to help prevent it in the future!
For more information about common scams and how to avoid them, please see USCIS’s website at uscis.gov/avoidscams.