Customs warns: Online scammers posing as officers

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

The Customs and Excise Division head office at the government campus in Port of Spain. File Photo/Jeff K Mayers

THE CUSTOMS and Excise Division is warning of scammers impersonating its officers, particularly through unsolicited calls, letters and online messages.

The Customs Division issued a statement on Monday, saying some potential victims have received messages saying, “A box of goods and money being shipped with your name on it has been intercepted,” in an attempt by the scammer to solicit personal information, o the pretext of clearing the nonexistent goods.

But Customs warned people “not to provide banking information or other personal identifiable information to the caller.

“These calls and messages are phishing attempts.”

Phishing is the practice of tricking internet users, through deceptive e-mail messages or websites, into revealing personal or private information.

“Officers of the Customs and Excise do not solicit money over the phone, via letter or e-mail,” the statement said.

Anyone who receives such calls should report them to the nearest police station.

“The public is also reminded that the payment of taxes due on the importation of goods into TTis payable to the Comptroller of Customs and Excise.

“These payments are to be made directly to the division’s cashiers where an official receipt is issued,” Customs said.