DEA warns of alarming increase in scam calls
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – The Drug Enforcement Administration is urging people to be cautious of calls from people claiming to be from the DEA or other law enforcement threatening to arrest or prosecute them.
The DEA says its received reports from people who say they were contacted by someone who claimed they would be arrested or prosecuted if they didn’t immediately pay a fine over the phone. The callers typically identify themselves as DEA personnel and instruct their victims to pay the “fine” via wire transfer.
According to the DEA, the callers typically:
• Use fake names and badge numbers or, alternatively, names of well-known DEA senior officials.
• Takes an urgent and aggressive tone; refuses to speak or leave a message with anyone other than the person for whom they are calling.
• Threaten arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment
• Demands thousands of dollars via wire transfer or, in some instances, in the form of untraceable gift cards taken over the phone.
• Falsifies the number on caller ID to appear as a legitimate DEA phone number.
• Will often ask for personal information, such as social security number or date of birth.
The DEA wants people to know that its personnel will never contact people by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment or 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.
Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person claiming to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat by calling (877)792-2873.