Warning: DEA Registrants Are Targeted in Extortion Scam

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The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is warning that DEA registrants are receiving fraudulent emails and telephone calls demanding money or threatening to suspend a registrant’s DEA registration.

These calls are not coming from the DEA itself. Instead, criminals identifying themselves as DEA employees or from law enforcement agencies are targeting DEA registrants for this scam. The fraudsters are able to mask their own number for caller ID and instead show the actual DEA Registration Support 800 number.

The DEA is responsible for certifying that all controlled substance transactions happen within the “closed system” established by Congress to distribute these substances. To be included in the “closed system,” all legitimate handlers of controlled substances, including doctors, pharmacies and researchers in addition to manufacturers and distributors, must be registered with the DEA.

In this latest extortion scam, the criminals contact DEA registrants and threaten to suspend their registration unless money is paid. In the DEA warning, the agency states that it would not contact a registrant and demand money or threaten to suspend the registrant’s registration. 

The DEA urges any registrant who has been contacted by anyone identifying themselves as from the DEA and demanding money or threatening suspension to report the threat via their Extortion Scam Online Reporting form. Learn more at the DEA’s Diversion Control Division’s website.

Consumers Are Receiving Fraudulent DEA Calls Too

The DEA also reported that criminals are contacting the public via telephone or email to demand money as a fine for purchasing drugs by telephone or over the internet. The false calls threaten enforcement action unless they pay money, usually via wire transfer. The impersonators threaten consumers with arrest or property search if they refuse to send the money.

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