DEA Warning: Scammers Impersonating DEA Brokers

WASHINGTON – The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public of a widespread fraud scheme by which phone scammers impersonate DEA brokers in an attempt to extort money or steal private identifiable information. A new public service announcement aims to boost consciousness that DEA will never cellphone demanding cash or asking for personal info.

There are variations in the false narrative, among them, that the target’s name was used to rent a automobile which was stopped at the border and contained a large amount of medicine. The caller then has the target confirm their social security number or tells the goal their checking account has been compromised. In some cases, the caller threatens the goal with arrest for the fictional drug seizure and instructs the individual, over the telephone, to send money by way of gift card or wire transfer to pay a “fine” or to assist with the Scam Investigation Switzerland or with resetting the checking account. A portion of an precise rip-off name was captured by DEA and can be heard right here.

Employing extra subtle techniques, Schemers have spoofed professional DEA phone numbers to persuade their goal that the decision is respectable, or texted photos of what appears to be a legit regulation enforcement credential with a photo. The reported rip-off techniques frequently change but often share a lot of the identical characteristics. Callers use faux names and badge numbers as well as names of effectively-known DEA officials or police officers in local departments. Additionally, they could:

– use an urgent and aggressive tone, refusing to talk to or depart a message with anyone apart from their focused sufferer;
– threaten arrest, prosecution, imprisonment, and, in the case of medical practitioners and pharmacists, revocation of their DEA registration;
– demand thousands of dollars through wire transfer or in the type of untraceable gift card numbers the sufferer is advised to provide over the cellphone;
– ask for private info, resembling social safety quantity or date of start;
– reference National Provider Identifier numbers and/or state license numbers when calling a medical practitioner. Additionally they might claim that patients are making accusations towards that practitioner.

DEA personnel won’t ever contact members of the public or medical practitioners by telephone to demand money or any other type of payment, will never request private or sensitive info over the cellphone, and can only notify folks of a reputable investigation or authorized action in person or by official letter. Actually, no legit federal regulation enforcement officer will demand cash or reward playing cards from a member of the public. It is best to only give money, present playing cards, personally identifiable data, together with checking account data, to someone you understand.

The perfect deterrence towards these unhealthy actors is consciousness and caution. Anyone receiving a name from an individual claiming to be with DEA should report the incident to the FBI at www.ic3.gov. The Federal Trade Commission offers restoration steps, shares info with greater than 3,000 legislation enforcement agencies and takes experiences at reportfraud.ftc.gov. For any victims who’ve given personally identifiable info like a social security quantity to the caller, can learn the way to guard towards identity theft at www.identitytheft.gov.

Reporting these rip-off calls will help federal authorities find, arrest, and stop the criminals engaged in this fraud. Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law, punishable by up to 3 years in prison; aggravated id theft carries a necessary minimum sentence of two years in prison plus fines and restitution.

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