It’s bad enough that scam artists have taken to impersonating court, sheriff and police department personnel to pull the wool over our eyes.
Now they are posing as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents and threatening people who order prescription drugs by phone or online with arrest unless they agree to pay a fine.
The scam, which appears to have spread to New Mexico, has been getting some media attention in recent weeks in response to a scam alert posted on the DEA website.
Apparently working off a list of people who purchase their drugs by phone or over the Internet, fake DEA agents call to say doing so is illegal and that they will be prosecuted unless they immediately agree to pay a fine by wire transfer to a specified location, many times overseas.
If they don’t, the phony agents threaten to place them under arrest or search their property. Some targets of this scam who paid for their drugs using a credit card also have reported the improper use of that card.
The DEA says its agents will never contact individuals by phone and insist on immediate payment by credit card, wire transfer or other means.
If you receive one of these calls, the DEA advises you not to pay and to report the incident using the online form on its website.