‘It’s OK to hang up’: U.S. Customs and Border Protection warns of phone scam hitting Pee Dee

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 6:34 PM EDT
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BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WMBF) - U.S. Customs and Border Protection is sounding the alarm about a phone scam making its way across the country, one that a Pee Dee man came face-to-face with himself.

The call might start innocently enough, and may even come from an area code you know. But U.S. Customs and Border Protection said if you answer that call and something doesn’t feel right, you don’t need to stay on the line.

“If there is an attempt to get personal information, beyond maybe your name off a social media platform, it’s a scam,” said Rob Brisley, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson. “You never want to share personal information, details about your family, your finances, bank information. It’s okay to hang up.”

Scott Thompson, a Bennettsville resident, said he received several calls with the same message where the caller claimed they were from CBP, and they had a package with his name on it. They claimed they were opening an investigation, and told Thompson to dial “1″ to speak with an agent. He hung up at that point.

According to similar reports on CPD’s website, if he had stayed on that call, his banking information may have been requested.

“I think the more people know about it and realize as soon as they get that just hang up, the quicker it’s going to go away,” Thompson said. “These things seem to come in cycles.”

Brisley said they would never go about reaching out for personal information like this.

“For Customs and Border Protection, if we have a sincere need to contact you will use the U.S. post office or registered type mail to reach out to you if there’s a something we need to follow up with,” Brisley said. “We’re not going to make phone calls.”

Customs and Border Protection are continuing to investigate and track this kind of criminal activity. If you receive this kind of scam call, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.

If you do fall victim to this scam, Brisley said to file a report with your local law enforcement agency.

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