BOSTON — Authorities issued a scam alert today after a Massachusetts resident was conned out of $43,000 by phone scammers posing as US Customs and Border Protection and US Marshal’s Office officials.
The scammers, who operate in pairs and assume various identities, have been targeting individuals by researching their background, knowing their full names, the real estate they own, and other personal details.
In a recent case, they impersonated US Marshal Brian Kyes from Boston and even spoofed the main office number (617) 748-2500 to lend credibility to their scam.
In an elaborate scheme, the scammers also spoofed the phone number of the Lowell Police Department and falsely presented themselves as Chief Greg Hudon to a victim who resided in Lowell.
They instructed the victim to convert bank account funds into Bitcoin under the pretense that the federal government was about to freeze their assets.
The victim was directed to use Bitcoin conversion machines, which are akin to ATMs and located in small convenience stores across the Greater Boston area.
Two such machines were reportedly found in Lowell.
Officials are still investigating how the scammers select their victims, but all known victims to date reside in Massachusetts and have an online presence.
Authorities urge the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious calls impersonating law enforcement to the police.