• BBB Scam Alert: Scammers Impersonate U.S. Customs and Border Protection

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    May 25, 2021
    BBB® Tuesday Tips

    Look Out For This New

    Package Delivery Scam

    In a new spin on the package delivery scheme, in addition to mail carriers, scammers are now impersonating US Customs and Border Protection also, claiming to have intercepted a package addressed to the victim. 
    Even if they sound official or make threats, don’t let these scammers fool you. The person who contacted you is simply impersonating an agent and trying to gain access to your personal information and bank accounts.
    How the Scam Works
    Consumers have reported two versions of this scheme to BBB Scam Tracker
    The suspicious package scheme: You receive a call, email or text saying US Customs and Border Patrol has intercepted a suspicious package addressed to you. You’re instructed to respond immediately, or a warrant will be issued for your arrest. When you reach out, you learn they seized the package because it contained drugs, weapons, cash, or other contraband. The "officer" asks for your personal information in order to “verify your identity,” but it’s just a ruse to steal your identity.
    The sweepstakes scheme: In another version of this scam, you’re contacted by someone claiming to be associated with US Customs and Border Protection. This time, they don’t threaten you with arrest. Instead, they claim to have intercepted a package containing a massive sweepstakes prize. To receive your winnings, you need to pay a huge fee for special shipping labels.

    Protect Yourself From This Scam:

    • Beware of unsolicited calls, texts and emails. No matter who they say they are, stay cautious, and don’t give out your personal information.
    • Think it’s a government official calling? Think again. Government agencies typically reach out by mail, so they’re unlikely to contact you by phone, email, or text message.
    •  Do not trust a name or badge number. Multiple consumers told Scam Tracker that the scammer provided a name and badge number. This is just an attempt to gain your trust.
    • Ignore it! The US Customs and Border Protection advises anyone who encounters this scam to hang up or ignore the message.

    Additional Information

    US Customs and Border Protection issued a public warning about this scam. 
    If you’ve spotted a scam (whether or not you’ve lost money), report it to BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others avoid falling victim to scams. Find more information about scams and how to avoid them at BBB.org/AvoidScams.

    Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

    BBB of Northwest Florida
    912 E. Gadsden Street
    Pensacola, FL 32501
    Tammy Ward, Communications Director
    tammy@nwfl.bbb.org, (850) 429-0002