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U.S. Customs and Border Protection warn about scam calls

Published: Jun. 9, 2021 at 12:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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LAREDO, Tex. (KGNS) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection are warning the community about scam calls targeting the public where the caller threatens you if you don’t pay up.

These scam artists are no longer just pretending to be the IRS.

The automated message will say, “a box of drugs and money being shipped has your name on it and it has been intercepted.”

If that’s the case, hang up immediately.

Callers claim to be a Border Patrol agent or a CBP officer demanding money.

The prerecorded message is personalized to the caller’s name.

Then, caller is instructed to press 1 to speak with a CBP officer or agent, which then tries to get the caller’s banking information.

The consequence for not paying up is a threat. Scammers claim a warrant will be issued for the victims arrest due to seized currency or drugs.

CBP officers work at the ports of entry. The only financial transactions they handle are with certain items.

“Part of our duties is to collect taxes,” said Ismael Guevara from CBP. “And duties at the port of entry in various commercial entries. Liquor, cigarettes, however CBP will not contact the public via telephone to as for any personal information.”

These scams aren’t just happening in border cities, it’s an international scheme.

If you get one of these calls, you should make a note of the number and report it to the Federal Trade Commission online here.

Those found scamming victims online or over the phone are charged with a federal felony.

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