Law enforcement scam claims to give you money

Law enforcement scam claims to give you money

By Greg Collier

Police impersonation scams are probably one of the most common scams out there. We’ve seen scammers imitate everyone from your local sheriff’or police department to federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency. The scams are generally the same, however. The impersonators will threaten you with arrest if you don’t pay them to resolve some imaginary indiscretion. Usually, this involves some nontraditional form of payment like gift cards, money transfers, or cryptocurrency. Now, we’re seeing a law enforcement agency being used in a typical scam along with a not so typical scam.

Some scammers are now said to be posing as agents from U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In a familiar sounding scam, the phony Border Agents will call their victims and tell them that they’ve intercepted a package that was addressed to the victim. It will then be claimed that the package contained drugs or some other illicit substance. In some cases, the scammers are asking for personal information to ‘verify’ who you are. This is done to steal your identity. In other cases, you’ll be asked to pay the phony agents to avoid arrest. In both cases, you’ll be threatened with arrest if you don’t comply.

In a twist on the police impersonation scam, some scammers are posing as CBP Agents to tell you that they’ve intercepted a package that contains a large sweepstakes prize for you. Rather than being threatened with arrest, you’re asked to pay a large fee to pay for special shipping labels. This is a new variation of the sweepstakes scam where scammers will typically ask you to pay a processing fee to receive winnings from sweepstakes that you probably didn’t even enter. These scammers usually claim to be from Publisher’s Clearing House instead of a federal law enforcement agency.

In either instance, a wary consumer needs to keep two things in mind. The first is that no real law enforcement agency will threaten you with arrest for not making a payment over the phone. The second thing is that you can’t win sweepstakes that you never entered. There’s really no such thing where someone is called out of the blue and told they’ve been chosen at random to win a big prize. That only happens in TV and movies.