Whether it’s your Amazon Fresh delivery or your new swimwear arriving for summer, we’re all used to receiving updates on our upcoming packages thanks to our online shopping habits. However, a new robocall phishing scheme has been uncovered, where scammers pose as US Border Patrol agents and US Customs and Border Protection officers contacting you about a package with your address on it.

TNS has received several reports of this recent scam featuring either a recorded message or a live call. Most reports claim the caller told them that they area US customs agent and that they had intercepted an illegal package headed for your address.

Worryingly, some callers say they are inquiring about ‘serious allegations’ with the federal border patrol about criminal activity. The scammer will then claim that the victim must send them money, often in the form of bitcoin or gift cards, to avoid legal action. Since they are phishing, they may ask for other personal information. These scare tactics may be enough to sway an unsuspecting victim into handing over their cash.

It is important to know that US Border Patrol agents and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers do no solicit money over the phone and would never ask for bitcoin or gift cards. These calls are very similar to the IRS scams we have seen for years and the same practices should be followed when receiving these calls. You should hang up immediately and report the number to your local government and the FTC. Check with the CBP if you’re unsure about whether the call is real.  Never give personal information over the phone and tell your peers to look out for this scam.

Call-blocking apps, including those powered by TNS Call Guardian®, are also a great resource for reporting and blocking unwanted robocalls. Stay vigilant and share information about scams with others.

Jim Tyrrell is Vice President of Enterprise Product Management at TNS with specific responsibility for TNS’ Communications Market solutions.

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