A U.S. Customs and Border Protection car is pictured in Machias on Feb. 3. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

A new phone scam targeting residents’ banking information is being reported across the country, including in Madawaska. The call is a prerecorded message, where a voice impersonates a Customs and Border Protection officer.

The call may be disguised to appear that it’s coming from a local number.

People nationwide are reporting that the call states that “A box of drugs and money being shipped has your (resident’s) name on it and it has been intercepted,” according to Customs and Border Protection. The message then tells the recipient to press 1 to speak with an officer or agent, redirecting them to a message soliciting their banking information.

Madawaska Police Chief Ross Dubois reported that the department had received two calls in the early afternoon on March 4 reporting the scam. Customs and Border Protection in Madawaska received a similar call the day prior.

“The easiest way to handle these calls is just to hang up and if [recipients] still have questions to call the police department,” Dubois said. “Normally if we’re going out to arrest someone, we don’t call them to give them a heads up.”

CBP confirmed that it does not solicit money over the telephone and asked anyone who may receive this call to hang up, make note of the number and report the call to the Federal Trade Commission.

Calls can be reported at: https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/

Hannah Catlin

Hannah Catlin is a reporter at the St. John Valley Times/Fiddlehead Focus in Madawaska, Maine.