An ABC News report is causing quite a stir among those who buy pharmaceutical drugs over the Internet.
A year ago, the Drug Enforcement Administration warned the public about criminals posing as DEA special agents or other law enforcement personnel as part of an international extortion scheme.
The report, aired on Nightline and Good Morning America, details how criminals call the victims (who in most cases previously purchased drugs over the lnternet 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 lnternet 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 bought their drugs using a credit card also reported fraudulent use of their credit cards.
Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law, a DEA document states. The DEA agent will never contact the public by telephone or email to demand money or any other form of payment.
If you buy pharmacy drugs over the Internet, BBB reminds users to :
- use caution when purchasing any pharmaceuticals by telephone or through the Internet.
- use pharmacies that are registered with the DEA to sell controlled substance pharmaceuticals by Internet.
- remember there are risks of receiving unsafe, counterfeit, and/or ineffective drugs from outside the U.S.
- and, personal and financial information could be compromised.
If you get a telephone call from someone claiming to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money hangup and report the threat. 877-792-2873