It’s surely unsettling to receive a call from a federal law enforcement agency telling you you’re in trouble.
But beware – there is a new phone scam going on with criminals who claim they are working with or for agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, as well as U.S. Marshals Service in Massachusetts.
Scammers call you, claiming to have some basic information about you, including your address, relatives’ names, and properties you’ve owned – which they have pulled from public databases.
They claim that a package was intercepted at the border in Texas and that they have a copy of your driver’s license, along with a quantity of illicit drugs or weapons.
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As part of the scam, you’ll get a secondary incoming call that appears to be coming from U.S. Marshals Service in Boston, making demands for your bank account information.
It may look like a legitimate call but remember -- criminals can easily spoof numbers appearing on your phone.
Here’s what you need to remember:
- • U.S. Marshals Service will never request credit nor debit card, gift card numbers, wire transfers, or bank routing numbers for any purpose.
- • Never divulge personal identifying information or financial information to any unknown callers.
- • Report all scam phone calls to your local FBI office and to the FTC – which you can do anonymously.
- • If an apparent scammer provides what sounds like a court order, immediately authenticate the call by calling the clerk of the court’s office of the U.S. District Court in your area and verify the court order given by the caller.
These scammers can be very convincing. They will give you names, and badge numbers and court orders. They’ll tell you, you need to comply. But stop and take the time to verify independently what is going on – and again, never give out personal information over the phone.