As part of an international extortion scheme, criminals posing as DEA Special Agents or other law enforcement personnel call their victims who usually have purchased drugs or pharmaceuticals over the Internet or by telephone and identify themselves as DEA agents or a law enforcement official. These impersonators inform their victims that purchasing drugs over the web or the phone is illegal and that enforcement action will be taken against them unless they pay a fine. In most cases, the impersonators instruct them to pay a “fine” via wire transfer to a designated location, usually overseas. If victims refuse to send money, the impersonators 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.
People who impersonate DEA officials, public officials, physicians or even pharmacists are violating the law. No DEA agent, doctor or pharmacist will ever contact members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment; this is extortion.
The DEA reminds the public to use caution when purchasing controlled substance pharmaceuticals by telephone or through the Internet. It’s illegal to purchase controlled substance pharmaceuticals online or by telephone unless very stringent requirements are met. All pharmacies dispensing controlled substance pharmaceuticals utilizing the Internet must be registered with the 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. Also, your personal and financial information could be compromised.
Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person stating to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat the DEA Extortion Scam Online Reporting. Include all fields, including, most importantly, a call back number so that a DEA investigator can contact you for additional information. Online reporting will greatly assist DEA in investigating and stopping this criminal activity.