Fact Check

SCAM ALERT: U.S. Customs and Border Protections Phone Call Scam

Such phishing scams are often used to collect personal information.

Published July 7, 2021

Image courtesy of CBP
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is calling residents and asking for personal bank information.

Officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is warning residents across the country about telephone scammers posing as agents and officers to gain banking information. The scam was first reported by the agency in February and March 2021 and was shared again to Twitter by CBP on July 7, 2021.

“A box of drugs and money being shipped has your (resident’s) name on it and it has been intercepted,” says a pre-recorded message before telling the answerer to press "number one" to speak with an agent or officer. The resident’s banking information is then requested.

Such forms of communication are what are known as phishing scams and are often used by scammers to trick a person into giving out personal information. Phishing attempts will often look like they’re coming from a well-known company — like Facebook or Amazon — to gain access to personal information. In 2019 alone, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center reported that people lost $57 million to phishing schemes alone.

“[Scammers] may try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could gain access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful,” wrote the Federal Trade Commission.

Neither CBP nor the Department of Homeland Security will ever solicit money or other personal information over the phone. Officials said that residents should immediately hang up the phone and report the incident to the Trade Commission online here.

Madison Dapcevich is a freelance contributor for Snopes.