DEA warns public of extortion scam

Published On: Nov 28 2012 10:06:36 AM EST

The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public about criminals who are posing as DEA agents in an extortion scheme.

How it works

The criminals call the victims (who in most cases previously purchased drugs over the internet or by telephone) and identify themselves as DEA agents or law enforcement officials from other agencies. The impersonators inform their victims that purchasing drugs over the internet or by telephone is illegal, and that enforcement action will be taken against them unless they pay a fine. In most cases, the impersonators instruct their victims to pay the "fine" via wire transfer to a designated location, usually overseas. If victims refuse to send money, the impersonators often threaten to arrest them or search their property. Some victims who purchased their drugs using a credit card also reported fraudulent use of their credit cards.

Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat.

Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law. The public should be aware that no DEA agent will ever contact members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment.

Report extortion scam

1-877-792-2873

Be careful buying online

The DEA reminds the public to use caution when purchasing controlled substance pharmaceuticals by telephone or through the internet. It is illegal to purchase controlled substance pharmaceuticals online or by telephone unless very stringent requirements are met. All pharmacies that dispense controlled substance pharmaceuticals by means of the internet must be registered with DEA. By ordering any pharmaceutical medications online or by telephone from unknown entities, members of the public risk receiving unsafe, counterfeit, and/or ineffective drugs from criminals who operate outside the law. In addition, personal and financial information could be compromised.