The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public, including the DEA registrant community, about criminals posing as DEA Special Agents, DEA Investigators, or other law enforcement personnel as part of an international extortion scheme.
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. Another scheme involves criminals contacting doctors and pharmacists and stating that they are the subject of an investigation and demanding money to clear up the matter.
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.
For more information, visit https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubs/pressreleases/extortion_scam.htm.
Update: The OMB has received reports of similar phone scams involving FBI impersonators who claim licensees are at risk of losing their license. Please handle any suspicious calls with caution.