U.S. Embassy warning of unauthorized phone calls

A U.S. embassy spokesperson said Wednesday that someone is making telephone calls and seeking identifying information on U.S. citizens here. The caller falsely claims to be working at the embassy, the spokesperson said.

“These calls are NOT legitimate and very well could be the efforts of a scammer looking to steal personally identifiable information,” said the spokesperson, adding:

“Callers to the American Citizen Services section state that the person making the calls often identifies himself as Jack Austin, and leaves the real U.S. Embassy switchboard number as a contact.  No one by that name works at the Embassy.  Americans residing in Costa Rica, as well as Americans here as tourists, have reported receiving these phone calls.”

The calls appear to seek Social Security numbers and says the purpose of the call is to register the citizen with the embassy.

The spokesperson said that citizens only can register themselves with the Smart Traveler Alert Program on the U.S. Department of State Web site.

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