DEA Warns of Special Agent Impersonators
The Drug Enforcement Agency in Seattle has issued a warning to Northwest residents about a dangerous scam.
The DEA regional office in Seattle has seen a flurry of phone calls from concerned citizens who were the victims of a scam involving drugs purchased over the phone or internet.
DEA officials say it’s part of an international extortion scheme in which people who’ve legally purchased drugs via websites or the phone are contacted by someone claiming to be a DEA Special Agent. The alleged agent informs this person buying drugs online or over the phone is illegal, and they must pay a fine to avoid prosecution.
Most of the victims are people who have made such purchases in the past. The DEA believes these scammers have been able to obtain names and contact information by hacking online or the phone records of companies where the purchases were made. It is perfectly legal to purchase drugs over the internet or phone from legal, reputable companies.
The phony DEA agent demands the person either wire the money and gives them directions on how to do so, or the victim is asked to supply person bank or credit card information. Several victims reported once they did so, they found fraudulent activity on the card. Some of the victims are from Eastern Washington and the Mid-Columbia.
The DEA Seattle office reminds citizens no one from the DEA or other federal agency would ever contact someone in this manner, and if they receive any suspicious calls or contacts to report them immediately.
The DEA tip line is : 1-877-792-2873.