A U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in El Paso on Wednesday was inundated with calls from across the nation because of a telephone scam, an agency spokesman said.

Scammers apparently spoofed the telephone number to CBP’s Ysleta port of entry in scam calls claiming to be CBP trying to collect penalty fines, a CBP spokesman said.

People who had received the scam call were calling CBP to see if it was real.

A spoof call is when falsified information for incoming calls shows up on caller identification. Scammers can make the number looks like a legit number, in this case the real number to CBP.

CBP has previously issued a scam alert stating:

“If you receive a call from someone telling you that they are from U.S. Customs and Border Protection threatening that a warrant will be issued for your arrest due to seized currency or drugs in your name unless you pay a fine/penalty over the phone … Hang up. It’s a scam!”

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Telephone scammers often pose as law enforcement officers threatening that a victim will be arrested if they don’t pay a “fine” for various violations, such as supposedly missing jury duty.

Real law enforcement agencies do not call to threaten people with arrest if they don’t pay by sending money through a prepaid debit card or a wire transfer.

Scammers often try to use fear and intimidation to get…

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