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Fake DEA extortion scam resurfaces in California



February 01, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Fraud & Abuse Licensing & Regulatory Issues 

Scam artists posing as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents are calling California physicians and consumers as part of an international extortion scheme. While the scam is not new—it’s been making the rounds for the past five years—a number of California physicians have reported recent extortion attempts.


The scammers identify themselves as DEA agents or other law enforcement, telling their victims that purchasing drugs via phone or internet is illegal and that enforcement action will be taken against them if they don’t pay a fine, usually thousands of dollars.


No DEA agent will ever contact physicians or members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment. If you receive a call such as the one described, refuse the demand for payment and immediately report the threat using the DEA’s online form.


Please 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 the DEA in investigating and stopping this criminal activity.


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