Has the U.S. Border Patrol called you? No, they haven’t. But a scammer might have. In fact, scammers often pretend to be from government agencies to trick you into sending them money or sharing personal information.
The latest twist is imposters who pose as agents and officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Here’s how the ruse might play out. Scammers send you a recorded message saying illegal items were shipped in your name and have been intercepted. Or they might talk about a “diplomatic pouch.” Or tell you a warrant is out for your arrest. They’ll demand that you pay for more information using cryptocurrency, gift cards, or wire transfers, or tell you to give them your banking account or Social Security number. Don’t do it. It’s a scam.
If you get a call like this, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- CBP won’t call you out of the blue with promises of money or threats. Is the caller asking you to pay a fee or share your Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone? Hang up. It’s a scam.
- CBP never uses gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers. If someone asks you to pay this way, it’s a scam. Always.
- Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can make their phone numbers look real even if they’re not.
- Check with CBP if you’re unsure about whether a call or email is real. Never call back phone numbers in caller ID, or left in voicemails, emails, or social media messages. Instead, type the agency name into a search bar and click on their webpage to find contact information.
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
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