An international extortion scheme is targeting individuals who previously purchased drugs over the Internet or phone, Drug Enforcement Administration officials said last week.
The perpetrators pose as DEA special agents and other law enforcement personnel and call the victims, informing them that purchasing drugs over the Internet or by phone is illegal and that they will pursue enforcement action against the victims unless they agree to pay a “fine” via wire transfer. If the victims refuse to send money, the special agent impersonators would often threaten to arrest them or search their property, DEA said.
The impersonating activity has been occurring with greater frequency in the Rocky Mountain region, and DEA reported that the DEA Denver Field Division office, which serves as the headquarters for DEA offices in Colorado, Montana, Utah and Wyoming, has been receiving regular telephone calls from victims of the extortion scheme.
DEA also said that impersonating a federal agent is against federal law and victims or other concerned citizens can report the extortion scam by calling 1-877-792-2873.