The Drug Enforcement Administration warned late last week that phone scammers were posing as DEA agents with the aim of extorting money or stealing personal information.
A new public announcement says the DEA will never call to ask for money or ask for personal information.
There are differences in the false narrative, including that the target’s name was used to rent a vehicle that was stopped at the border and contained a large amount of drugs, the DEA said.
The caller then has the target verify their social security number or claim that their bank account has been compromised.
In some cases, the caller threatens the target with fictitious drug seizure arrest and instructs the person over the phone to send money by gift card or wire transfer to pay a “fine” or to help investigate or reset their bank account.
In addition, scammers have “forged” legitimate DEA phone numbers to convince their target that the call was legitimate – or text photos of what appear to be legitimate law enforcement cards with a photo.
Reported scam tactics are constantly changing, but they often share many of the same characteristics. Callers use fake names and ID numbers, as well as names of known DEA officers or police officers in local departments.
Anyone who receives a call from someone claiming to be with DEA should report the incident to the FBI at www.ic3.gov.
Additionally, the Federal Trade Commission offers recovery steps, shares information with more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies, and accepts reports reportfraud.ftc.gov.
For more information about identity theft protection, see www.identitytheft.gov.
Reporting these scam calls helps federal agencies find, arrest, and stop the criminals involved in this scam.
Imitating a federal agent is a violation of federal law that can be punished with a prison sentence of up to three years. In the case of escalated identity theft, a prison sentence of at least two years plus fines and reimbursement is imposed.
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