Scammers are changing their approach to get your information and your money by impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
It can be scary: The caller says there’s a suspicious package addressed to you and it has been held up by the CBP. They say it contains drugs, weapons, cash, or other contraband, and if you don’t pay up, you’ll be arrested.
In reality, they want your money and personal information. Don’t be scared – this is the Government Impersonator Scam and you’re not going to jail.
“As of late, we’re seeing that we’re part of that impersonating scam, whether it’s in South Florida or other coastal communities, where people are, unfortunately, getting that phone call or that text and think they have to respond. It’s OK to just hang up,” said Rob Brisley, spokesman for CBP.
There are a couple of things you can do to avoid this scam. Never provide your personal of financial information to unsolicited callers. The government doesn’t call, they send a letter in the mail. When you get a suspicious call, ask for the caller’s name and badge number, then call the agency directly to verify they are who they say are.
This scam has gotten so prevalent that CBP had to issue a warning.
All in all, if you get this call, just hang up and report it to law enforcement.
If you spot a government impersonator scam, report it to
- the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov
- your state attorney general