The FBI Is International

The FBI Is International

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is in more than 180 Countries Around the World!

Law Enforcement – A SCARS Guide

International FBI Offices – Because Transnational Organized Crime Has A Global Reach. And So Does The FBI

For more than eight decades, the FBI has stationed special agents and other personnel overseas. We help protect Americans back home by building relationships with principal law enforcement, intelligence, and security services around the globe. Now, at a time when virtually all major FBI investigations have a significant international nexus, these partnerships have never been more crucial.

FBI International Operations History

The FBI’s international operations began in 1940 when the Bureau established its first legal attaché office in Mexico City to counter the NAZI threat.

The legal attaché program is a network of FBI offices located in U.S. embassies and consulates around the world. Legal attachés are special agents who work with foreign law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute crimes that have an international nexus.

In the early years, the FBI’s international operations focused on investigating espionage and sabotage during World War II. After the war, the Bureau’s focus shifted to combating organized crime and drug trafficking. In the 1990s, the FBI’s international operations expanded to address new threats, such as terrorism and cybercrime.

Today, the FBI has legal attaché offices in more than 180 countries. The Bureau’s international operations are a vital part of its mission to protect the United States from crime and terrorism.

Here are some of the key milestones in the history of the FBI’s international operations:

  • 1940: The FBI establishes its first legal attaché office in Mexico City.
  • 1942: Special agents are assigned to U.S. embassies in London, Ottawa, and Mexico City.
  • 1947: The FBI establishes a Liaison Section in the Security Division at FBI Headquarters.
  • 1993: FBI Director Louis Freeh makes it a priority to open a series of new legal attaché offices.
  • 2001: The FBI’s international operations play a key role in the investigation of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
  • 2015: The FBI establishes a new legal attaché office in Beijing, China.

The FBI’s international operations are constantly evolving to meet the changing threats facing the United States. The Bureau is committed to working with its international partners to keep Americans safe from crime and terrorism.

FBI Around The Globe

Our legal attaché offices—commonly known as legats—and sub-offices are located in key cities around the globe and provide coverage for more than 180 countries, territories, and islands. About 250 special agents and support personnel are stationed in FBI legats worldwide.

International Operations

Our legal attaché program is managed by the International Operations Division at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Through the legal attaché program and other efforts, the International Operations Division serves as a bridge to our overseas partners and a conduit for strengthening the global rule of law. It regularly works through elements of the international law enforcement community such as Interpol and Europol and numerous working groups, task forces, and training initiatives.

The office coordinates meetings with international leaders and keeps in close contact with other federal agencies, foreign police, and security officers in Washington, D.C., and national and international law enforcement associations.

Authorities and Jurisdiction

A number of U.S. federal laws give the FBI authority to investigate extraterritorial criminal and terrorist activity. The FBI, however, conducts investigations abroad only when invited by the host country. In most cases, our international partners gather evidence and make arrests on behalf of, or in close cooperation with, the Bureau.

Each legat is established through mutual agreement with the host country and is located in that nation’s U.S. embassy or consulate. FBI personnel abroad serve under the authority of the Department of State, chief of mission at U.S. embassies, at the pleasure of ambassadors and host country governments.

International liaison and information sharing are conducted in accordance with executive orders, laws, treaties, attorney general guidelines, FBI policies, and interagency agreements.

The FBI agent who heads an international office is also called a legal attaché or legat. They serve as the FBI Director’s personal representative in the country where they have regional responsibilities.

Legal attachés are experienced, highly trained investigators who work directly and openly with their international colleagues. They do not conduct foreign intelligence gathering or counterintelligence investigations. Most legal attachés are supported by a deputy or assistant legal attaché and other staff.

Typical duties of a legal attaché include:

  • coordinating requests for FBI or host country assistance overseas
  • conducting investigations in coordination with the host government
  • sharing investigative leads and information
  • coordinating FBI training classes for police in their geographic areas
  • briefing embassy counterparts from other agencies, including law enforcement agencies and ambassadors
  • managing country clearances
  • providing situation reports concerning cultural protocol
  • assessing political and security climates
  • coordinating victim and humanitarian assistance

Relationship Building: Since FBI agents do not have traditional law enforcement powers overseas, they must rely on strong, mutually beneficial relationships with their foreign counterparts. Legal attachés maintain regular, often face-to-face contact with foreign officials and security agencies that enables the prompt and continuous exchange of information and reciprocal assistance in investigations. Legal attachés also provide critical and timely support in the defense of our homeland through direct coordination with the Department of Justice, the Department of State, Interpol, and other law enforcement and security entities.

Physical Proximity: Legal attachés are positioned to enable agents to reach virtually anywhere in the world in a few hours, allowing the FBI to respond more quickly and effectively to terrorist attacks, cyber crime, fugitive sightings, crisis situations, natural disasters, and other global security matters.

Training/Rule of Law: Through international training facilitated by legal attachés, the FBI provides foreign law enforcement officers with skills in both basic and advanced investigative techniques and principles that promote cooperation and aid in the collection of evidence. These efforts help create more capable and democratic police institutions around the world, strengthening the global rule of law. Funded by the Department of State or Department of Defense, significant training programs include the International Law Enforcement Academies in Budapest, Hungary; Bangkok, Thailand; Gaborone, Botswana; and San Salvador, El Salvador, as well as bilateral training programs targeting anti-terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorist financing.

Detection and Prevention: By keeping their fingers on the pulse of criminal activity, national security threats, and emerging trends in the nations and regions they serve, legal attachés function as an early warning system to help keep crime and terrorism from reaching our shores.

What Does This Mean For Scam Victims?

If you want to get the help of the FBI internationally, first – make sure that you have reported the crime to your local police and the FBI – see for how to report.

Scam and fraud victims can leverage the FBI legats in the U.S. missions around the world to ask for help by following these steps:

  1. Find the FBI legat office in the country where the scam or fraud occurred. You can find a list of FBI legats on the FBI website.
  2. Contact the FBI legat office and explain the scam or fraud that you have been victim of.
  3. Provide the FBI legat office with as much information as possible about the scam or fraud, including the date and time of the scam, the amount of money lost, and any contact information you have for the scammer.
  4. The FBI legat office will work with you to investigate the scam or fraud and to gather evidence.
  5. If the FBI legat office is able to identify the scammer, they will work with local law enforcement to prosecute the scammer.

In some cases, the FBI legat office may be able to transfer information from the victim to local law enforcement directly. However, this is not always possible, and the victim may need to provide the information to local law enforcement themselves.

Here are some additional tips for scam and fraud victims who are seeking help from the FBI:

  • Be patient. The FBI may take some time to investigate the scam or fraud.
  • Be persistent. Do not give up if you do not hear back from the FBI right away.
  • Be cooperative. Provide the FBI with as much information as possible about the scam or fraud.
  • Be aware of your rights. The FBI is not allowed to share your information with anyone without your consent.

If you have been a victim of a scam or fraud, it is important to report it to the authorities. By working together, we can help to protect others from becoming victims of these crimes.

FBI International Offices

  • Email addresses can only be obtained by calling the specific office during their local business hours.
  • Make sure that you have reported the information on first. Have the IC3 confirmation available.
  • Have your information fully prepared – see here: A Scam Victim’s Checklist
  • Be organized in what you want to ask, such as: “I am the victim of fraud that originated in COUNTRY-NAME and I would like to ask for your assistance to pass the information to local law enforcement. I have the information prepared and can send it by email, can you give me your email address? Thank you”
  • This will vary agent by agent – do not be impatient or expect miracles – this is slightly outside of their regular job.

The information below was accurate as of August 15, 2023


Abuja, Nigeria

American Embassy: 011-234-9-461-4000
Nations covered: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Nigeria

Lagos, Nigeria Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-234-1-460-3400

Accra, Ghana

American Embassy: 011-233-30-2741-000
Nations covered: Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Togo

Niamey, Niger Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-277-20-72-26-61

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

American Embassy: 011-251-11-130-6000
Nations covered: Djibouti, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Sudan

Dakar, Senegal

American Embassy: 011-221-33-879-4000
Nations covered: Cape Verde, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Sao Tome’ and Principe, Sierra Leone

Nairobi, Kenya

American Embassy: 011-254-20-363-6000
Nations covered: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda

Pretoria, South Africa

American Embassy: 011-27-12-431-4000
Nations covered: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte (French Territory), Mozambique, Namibia, Reunion (French Territory), Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Rabat, Morocco

American Embassy: 011-212-537-762-265
Nations covered: Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Western Sahara

Tunis, Tunisia

American Embassy: 011-216-71-107-000
Nations covered: Algeria, Libya, Tunisia


Bogota, Colombia

American Embassy: 011-571-275-2000
Nations covered: Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela

Brasilia, Brazil

American Embassy: 011-55-61-3312-7000
011-55-61-3312-7400 (after hours)
Nation covered: Brazil

Bridgetown, Barbados

American Embassy: 1-246-436-4950
Nations covered: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, French West Indies, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Montserrat, Nassau (Islands of St. Barthelemy and French St. Martin), Netherland Antilles (islands of Bonaire and Curacao, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Dutch St. Maarten), St. Christopher, St. Kitts/Nevis (British West Indies), St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos

Nassau, Bahamas Suboffice
American Consulate: 1-242-322-1181
Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
American Embassy: 1-868-622-6371

Buenos Aires, Argentina

American Embassy: 011-5411-5777-4300
Nations covered: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay

Mexico City, Mexico

American Embassy: 011-52-55-5080-2000
Nation covered: Mexico

Hermosillo Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-52-662-289-3500
Guadalajara Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-52-33-3268-2100
Juarez Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-52-656-227-3000
Monterrey Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-52-81-8047-3100
Tijuana Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-52-664-977-2000

Ottawa, Canada

American Embassy: 1-613-238-5335
Nation covered: Canada

Toronto Suboffice
American Consulate: 1-416-640-8650
Vancouver Suboffice
American Consulate: 1-604-685-4311

Panama City, Panama

American Embassy: 011-507-317-5000
Nations covered: Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua

San Salvador, El Salvador

American Embassy: 011-503-2501-2999
Nations covered: Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras

Guatamala City, Guatamala Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-502-2326-4000
Tegucigalpa, Honduras Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-504-2236-9320

Santiago, Chile

American Embassy: 011-56-22-330-3000
Nations covered: Bolivia, Chile, Peru

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

American Embassy: 1-809-221-2171 or 1-809-567-7775
Nations covered: Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica


Bangkok, Thailand

American Embassy: 011-66-2-205-4000
Nations covered: Laos, Myanmar, Thailand

Beijing, China

American Embassy: 011-8610-6532-3831
Nations covered: Mongolia, People’s Republic of China

Canberra, Australia

American Embassy: 011-61-2-6214-5600
Nations covered: Australia, Christmas Island, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia (includes Austral Islands, Bora Bora, Marquesas Islands, Moorea, Society Islands, Tahiti), Kiribati (includes Canton, Caroline, Flint, Gilbert Islands, Malden, Phoenix, Starbuck, Vosttok), Nauru, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, Niue, Pitcairn Island, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Wallis and Futuna Islands (French), Samoa

Sydney Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-612-9373-9200
Wellington, New Zealand, Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-64-4-462-6000

Dhaka, Bangladesh

American Embassy: 011-65-476-9100
Nations covered: Bangladesh, Nepal

Hong Kong, China

American Consulate: 011-852-2523-9011
Nations covered: Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan

Taipei, Taiwan Suboffice
American Institute: 011-2-2162-2000

Jakarta, Indonesia

American Embassy 011-62-21-3435-9000
Nations covered: Indonesia, Timor-Leste

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

American Embassy: 011-603-2168-5000
Nations covered: Brunei, DIego Garcia, Malaysia, Singapore

Singapore Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-65-6476-910

Manila, Philippines

American Embassy: 011-63-2-301-2000
Nation covered: Philippines

New Delhi, India

American Embassy: 011-91-1-98-2419-8000
Nations covered: Bhutan, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

American Embassy: 011-85-23-728-000
Nations covered: Cambodia, Vietnam

Seoul, South Korea

American Embassy: 011-82-2-397-4114
Nation covered: South Korea

Tokyo, Japan

American Embassy: 011-81-3-3224-5000
Nation covered: Japan

Eastern Europe and Eurasia 

Ankara, Turkey

American Embassy: 011-90-312-455-5555
Nation covered: Turkey

Istanbul Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-90-212-335-9000

Athens, Greece

American Embassy: 011-30-210-720-2490
Nations covered: Cyprus, Greece

Belgrade, Serbia

American Embassy: 381-11-7064000
Nations covered: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia

Bucharest, Romania

American Embassy: 011-40-21-200-3300
Nations covered: Moldova, Romania

Budapest, Hungary

American Embassy: 011-36-1-475-4400
Nation covered: Hungary

Kyiv, Ukraine

American Embassy: 011-380-44-521-5000
Nations covered: Belarus, Ukraine

Moscow, Russia

American Embassy: 011-7-495-728-5000
Nation covered: Russia

Astana, Kazakhstan

American Embassy: 011-7-3172-70-2100
Nations covered: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Riga, Latvia

American Embassy: 011-371-6710-7000
Nations covered: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

Tallinn, Estonia Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-372-668-8100

Sofia, Bulgaria

American Embassy: 011-3592-937-5100
Nations covered: Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia

Tbilisi, Georgia

American Embassy: 011-995-32-27-7000
Nations covered: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia

Warsaw, Poland

American Embassy: 011-4822-628-3041
Nation covered: Poland


Berlin, Germany

American Embassy: 011-49-30-238-5174
Nation covered: Germany

Frankfurt Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-49-69-7535-0

Bern, Switzerland

American Embassy: 011-41-31-357-7011
Nations covered: Liechtenstein, Switzerland

Brussels, Belgium

American Embassy: 011-32-2-512-5519
Nations covered: Belgium, Luxembourg, U.S. Mission to NATO and the EU

Copenhagen, Denmark

American Embassy: 011-45-3341-7100
Nations covered: Denmark, Faroe Island, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden Suboffice
America Embassy: 011-46-8-783-5488

London, England

American Embassy: 0-11-44-207-894-0007
Nations covered: United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales), Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey)

Madrid, Spain

American Embassy: 011-34-91-587-2200
Nations covered: Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal, Spain

Paris, France

American Embassy: 011-33-1-4312-2222
Nations covered: France, Monaco

Lyon Suboffice (INTERPOL)

Prague, Czech Republic

American Embassy: 011-420-2-5702-2000
Nations covered: Czech Republic and Slovakia

Rome, Italy

American Embassy: 011-39-06-4674-2710
Nations covered: Italy, Malta, San Marino, Vatican City

The Hague, Netherlands

American Embassy:  011-31-70-310-2264
Nations covered: Netherlands, U.S. Mission to Europol

Vienna, Austria

American Consulate: 011-43-1-313-39-2155
Nations covered: Austria, Croatia, Slovenia

Middle East 

Abu Dhabi, UAE

American Embassy: 011-971-2-414-2200
Nation covered: United Arab Emirates

Dubai, UAE Suboffice

Amman, Jordan

American Embassy: 011-962-6-590-6000
Nations covered: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria

Beirut, Lebanon Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-961-4-542-600

Baghdad, Iraq

American Embassy: 1-240-553-0590
Nation covered: Iraq

Erbil, Iraq Suboffice

Cairo, Egypt

American Embassy: 011-202-2797-3300
Nation covered: Egypt

Doha, Qatar

American Embassy: 011-974-4496-6000
Nations covered: Kuwait, Qatar

Kuwait City, Kuwait Suboffice
American Embassy: 011-965-2259-1001

Islamabad, Pakistan

American Embassy: 011-92-51-208-0000
Nation covered: Pakistan

Karachi, Pakistan Suboffice
American Consulate: 011-92-21-3527-5000

Kabul, Afghanistan

American Embassy: 301-490-1042
Nation covered: Afghanistan

Muscat, Oman

American Embassy: 968-2464-3400
Nation covered: Oman

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

American Embassy: 011-966-1-488-3800
Nations covered: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Tel Aviv, Israel

American Embassy: 011-972-3-519-7575
Nations covered: Israel, Palestinian National Authority

Jerusalem, Israel Suboffice

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