The FDA warned the public last month about an ongoing extortion scam run by FDA impersonators. Consumers should continue to be on the lookout for the scam as it continues to thrive.
The scammers call the victims and state they are FDA special agents or law enforcement officials. (In a lot of cases, the victims have previously purchased drugs over the phone or the Internet.) The scammers tell the victims that buying drugs over the phone or internet is illegal and that lawful actions will be taken against the victim unless they pay a “fine.” The “fines” range from $100-$250,000 and must be paid via wire transfer. If the victim does not agree to pay the fine, they are threatened with arrest, property searches, or physical harm.
The scammers not only illegally impersonate the FDA, but they also continually change the phone number they call from in order to appear as though they are here in the United States.
Some arrests have been made against these criminals; however the scam continues to happen year after year.
Consumers who may be a victim of this scam can contact the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations and click, “Report Suspected Criminal Activity.”