Public urged to be cautious after “alarming increase” in scam calls, DEA says 

The Drug Enforcement Administration is urging the public to be cautious after an “alarming increase” in scam calls.

DEA officials say the phone calls are from criminals posing as DEA or other law enforcement personnel threatening arrest and prosecution for supposed violations of federal drug laws or involvement in drug-trafficking activities.

The callers typically identify themselves as DEA personnel and tell people to pay the “fine” via wire transfer to avoid arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment.

The callers may be using some of the same characteristics:

  • Callers use fake names and badge numbers or, alternatively, names of well-known DEA senior officials.
  • The tone of calls is urgent and aggressive; callers refuse to speak or leave a message with anyone other than the person for whom they are calling.
  • Callers threaten arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment, and in the case of medical practitioners, revocation of their DEA numbers.
  • Callers demand thousands of dollars via wire transfer or, in some instances, in the form of untraceable gift cards taken over the phone.
  • Callers falsify the number on caller ID to appear as a legitimate DEA phone number.
  • Callers will often ask for personal information, such as social security number or date of birth.
  • When calling a medical practitioner, callers often reference National Provider Identifier numbers and/or state license numbers. They also might claim that patients are making accusations against the practitioner.

DEA officials say personnel will never contact practitioners or the public by phone to demand money or any other form of payment. They say they will not request any personal or sensitive information over the phone. Notification of a legitimate investigation or legal action is made via official letter or in person.

You can report scam activity here.

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