Scammers Pose As Customs Agents - Tucson News Now

Scammers Pose As Customs Agents

By Kaushal Patel, KOLD News 13

It's a scam you may have heard before, but not quite like this: so-called Customs agents phoning and asking for money in order to collect a prize.

Marla Dick says someone called her three times this week by someone claiming to be a customs agent. "In the back of my mind, I thought I did win."

Just like anyone who plays the lottery or sweepstakes, Dick likes to win. "I enter in sweepstakes from the U.S. and Canada."

She plays about a hundred sweepstakes a year and this week got a phone call saying she had won $150,000.

"They called me three times and said they're Customs agents and I won the money in Canada and I had to pay a customs fee."

"We'd like to make sure people know that U.S. Customs and Border Protection isn't going to call," says Brian Levin with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A red flag should go up anytime someone says they're a Customs agent because the term is no longer used.  The proper term is ICE agent.

"We've heard people posing as FBI agents," says Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. While he hasn't heard of this lastest scam, it's not a new one.

"It's starting to spread to other areas of the U.S."

For Dick, she isn't taking her chances anymore. She's done with playing sweepstakes and advises others to do the same.

A reminder:  if you've won a legitatimate sweepstakes, you don't have to pay to collect your winnings.

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