HOUSTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection employees say they continue to receive numerous calls from people concerned about unwelcome calls from scammers posing as U.S. Border Patrol agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.

“We are seeing a spike of phone calls from concerned citizens about scammers posing as CBP employees seeking information about suspected illegal activity,” said CBP Houston Director of Field Operations Jud Murdock. “If CBP suspects illegal activity, we will not call a suspect or a victim requesting money or social security numbers.”

A variation of the call is a pre-recorded message stating that a “shipment of drugs or money with your name on it has been intercepted.” The target is then instructed to press #1 to speak with a CBP Officer/Agent.

When connected, the scammer then attempts to confirm the target’s banking information, according to CBP.

If you get a call like this, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • CBP won’t call you with promises of money or threats. Is the caller asking you to pay a fee or share your Social Security, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone? Hang up. It’s a scam.
  • CBP never uses gift cards, cryptocurrency, or wire transfers. If someone asks you to pay this way, it’s a scam. Always.
  • Don’t trust caller ID. Scammers can make their phone numbers look real even if they’re not.
  • Check with CBP if you’re unsure about whether a call or email is real. Never call back phone numbers in caller ID, or left in voicemails, emails, or social media messages. Instead, type the agency name into a search bar and click on their webpage to find contact information.

CBP says if you receive any type of call from someone claiming to be from U.S. Customs and Border Protection and seeking any type of personal information, just hang up.

Phone scams can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission online.