Eye on Scams: Scammers are impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Eye on Scams

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Fake package delivery notifications were on the rise last year, coinciding with phishing scams. In a new twist on the package delivery scheme, scammers are no longer posing as mail carriers. Instead, they are impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection. 

Jillian Dickerson, with the Better Business Bureau of Acadiana, said, “They’re taking advantage of people by sending out text messages or phone calls and impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the gig is that they’re sending out a package was received on your behalf that held contraband items and they want to steal your information so that you do not have a warrant out for your arrest.”

Scammers are impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They claim to have intercepted a package addressed to the victim. Consumers have reported two versions of the scam.  

“You get those phone calls. You get those text messages and it says, ‘here’s that contraband item such as drugs or money,’ but now they’re saying that they found money but it’s a sweepstakes award that was never sent to you and it was from overseas and customs has taken control over it and you have to pay a fee or a high shipping cost to have the sweepstakes funds shipped to you,” explained Dickerson. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection issued a warning to the public recommending anyone who encounters this scam to hang up or ignore the message. It’s nothing more than a scammer.  

“BBB Scam Tracker has received 26 reports from consumers saying they’ve had encounters with U.S. Customs and Border Protection imposter scams, said Dickerson. “Consumers have reported two versions of the scheme impersonating U.S. Customs and Border Protection as well as the sweepstakes and the suspicious package theme.”

Here’s how you can avoid U.S. Customs and Border Protection imposters:

  • Beware of unsolicited calls, text and emails.
  • Government agencies will not contact you by phone. 
  • Don’t trust a name or badge number. It’s just an attempt to gain your trust.
  • You won’t win a sweepstakes you haven’t entered. No matter how convincing they sound, you didn’t win anything. 

If you have a scam you’d like me to investigate, feel free to send me an email at smasters@klfy.com

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