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ALERT: Fake DEA Agents Targeting Physicians and Patients With Extortion Scheme
Posted on: 11/1/2018

As part of an international extortion ploy, criminals posing as Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Special Agents or other law enforcement officials are attempting to extort money from victims over the phone. There are reports of both physicians and patients being targeted by this scam.

Victims checking to see who is calling are fooled as the impersonators block their telephone number on Caller ID by showing the DEA Registration Support 800 number. One impersonator targeting a Texas physician reportedly provided the doctors NPI number to make the call seem legit.

In most cases, the criminals target patients who previously purchased controlled substance pharmaceuticals by telephone or through the internet. The callers start their spiel by informing their victims that buying drugs this way is illegal. Next, they instruct the victims to pay the "fine" via wire transfer to a designated location, usually overseas.

If victims say no, the callers often threaten to arrest them or search their property.

IMPORTANT: A DEA employee would never call someone who has a DEA registration number to demand money or threaten to suspend the registrant’s DEA registration. 

The scheme was first reported last spring and the DEA issued an alert. But the crooks are at it again and there has been a recent uptick in this illegal activity. Pretending to be a federal agent violates federal law.

If you are contacted by a person claiming to work for the DEA and the caller pressures you for money or threatens to suspend your DEA registration, refuse the demands and report the threat via the Extortion Scam Online Reporting web page.

For more information, visit the DEA’s web page regarding this alert. 

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