There is a new twist on an old scam according to Better Business Bureau of Acadiana Chief Operating Officer Chris Babin.

Here is the first form of the scam that is operating right now:

Last year, scammers were sending out fake package delivery notifications, and they were able scam people out of their personal information through phishing. Now there is a new twist on this scam. The criminals will try to make you believe that there is a suspicious package for you, and they pretend to be with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They proceed to tell you that they will arrest you if you don't immediately provide them with your personal information. They are unscrupulous. They will use your information to steal your money and your identity.

Another way people are trying to get at your money:

Another form of this scam is when these criminals try to make you think you have won a sweepstakes prize. They pretend, once again, to be from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency. They claim you have to give them a large sum of money in order to get your very substantial prize. Well, guess what? They're liars. They are doing this just to rip you off.

Babin says there have twenty-six reports from people in Acadiana claiming that someone tried to pretend they were from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in order to steal from them. Don't become of victim. Babin's best advice? Don't respond to the text or email, and if you don't know who is calling you, either don't answer, or if you do answer, hang up on these people.

The following are five tips that can help you avoid a scam by someone pretending to be from U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Ignore phone calls, text & emails from people you don't know:

Never give out any personal information to anyone you don't know. If someone claims they need your information, and especially if they try to pressure you into giving them that information, just ignore them.

Government officials are not going to call you; they will contact you by mail:

Government officials, for the most part, are not going to contact you via phone, text or email; they will send you a letter.

If someone says they are from an agency and/or they offer a badge number, be suspicious:

People who have complained about these scammers say they pretend to be from governmental agencies and will even provide a badge number. Be suspicious of anyone you don't know.

If you haven't entered a sweepstakes contest, then you couldn't have won:

Don't fall for someone trying to tell you that you have won a prize when you haven't even entered the contest. If you register for something, still be very cautious if someone does contact you.

Tell your family & friends about scams you hear about:

Talk, talk, talk. Tell everyone you know about scams you have heard about, but make sure you use accurate information from a reputable source.

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