Customs and Border Protection says scam calls persist and impersonate agents

Close-up of a businessman working at a desk with a smartphone and laptop, taken January 31, 2019. (Photo by Neil Godwin/Future via Getty Images)

US Customs and Border Patrol reminds Americans that a scam phone call appearing to be affiliated with the agency soliciting money persists across the country.

The agency first warned of the scam earlier this year and told FOX television stations this week that the calls were continuing.

“Individuals across the country continue to receive unsolicited calls from scammers posing as U.S. Customs and Border Protection or U.S. Border Patrol agents,” said a public affairs specialist from the CBP.

The agency said someone on the phone might say that “a box of medicine and cash was shipped that has your name on it and has been intercepted.” Others have reported calls from individuals claiming to be CBP employees and informing call recipients that there is a warrant for their arrest or requesting information in exchange for Bitcoin.

“The scammers attempt to disguise themselves in legitimacy by providing the names and numbers of actual CBP employees and urging their potential victims to search for the officer/agent on the Internet,” the agency warned.

In most cases, the resident is eventually asked to provide banking information or other personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers or dates of birth.

“CBP does not solicit money over the phone, nor do we accept other digital currencies or Bitcoin gift cards,” the agency said. “Residents across the country should remain vigilant for phishing scams/attempts and not provide any information.”

If this scam has been attempted against you, federal authorities are asking you to report it. The report is shared with over 3,000 law enforcement agencies to help file complaints against fraud, scams and poor business practices.

Learn more about how to report here.

This story was reported from Detroit.

About Sandra A. Powell

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