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Fake DEA Agent Scam Targets FOX 11 Reporter and Family

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Los Angeles, CA -

My wife and I got caught up in a nasty scam that is being perpetrated on people across the country. Fortunately, we didn't bite, but others have lost thousands of dollars to scammers operating out of the country.

A few days ago we got a call that a special agent named Brian Torres calling from the DEA in DC wanted my wife to call. Speaking in a voice like a east coast gangster he stated her name came up in an investigation and he wanted her to call. She called back. He was rude and demanding. He told her that because she ordered drugs from an online pharmacy back in 2007 and the drugs were from a 3rd world cartel she had broken the law and an officer was on his way over to the house to arrest her. She could even hear in the background the sound of someone acting as if they were dispatching an officer to our house. And, they knew the address.

My wife said she wanted something in writing; something she could review with her attorney. The agent said you've lost the right to do what you want to do. She was terrified. She took the dog, drove down the street and called me in tears. I went home and called the agent myself. Through a very hollow sounding phone line he explained my wife bought drugs illegally and that was against the law. I said she was very upset. He said good "maybe she's learned her lesson." It didn't sound right.

I called Sarah Pullen at DEA. I've known her a long time. She said it's a scam - "a 100% scam." She said it's happening all over the country and there's been an increase in activity over the last couple of weeks - according to the agent in charge of the case back east. While the DEA can't say much because it is "under investigation." Sarah told me the calls are coming from outside of the country which is making it difficult to move in on the perpetrators, but they are working on it. She said there is an 800 number people should call if victimized. She also said she's taken some of the calls from victims. Many call in tears.

Here is the DEA's Extortion Warning. It's on their website. See below.

Hal Eisner

ALERT - EXTORTION SCAM - ALERT

DEA Warns Public of Extortion Scam by 
DEA Special Agent Impersonators

The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the public about criminals posing as DEA special agents or other law enforcement personnel as part of an international extortion scheme.

The criminals call the victims (who in most cases previously purchased drugs over the lnternet or by telephone) and identify themselves as DEA agents or law enforcement officials from other agencies.  The impersonators inform their victims that purchasing drugs over the lnternet or by telephone is illegal, and that enforcement action will be taken against them unless they pay a fine.  In most cases, the impersonators instruct their victims to pay the "fine" via wire transfer to a designated location, usually overseas.  If victims refuse to send money, the impersonators often threaten to arrest them or search their property.  Some victims who purchased their drugs using a credit card also reported fraudulent use of their credit cards.

Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law.  The public should be aware that no DEA agent will ever contact members of the public by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment.

The DEA reminds the public to use caution when purchasing controlled substance pharmaceuticals by telephone or through the Internet.  It is illegal to purchase controlled substance pharmaceuticals online or by telephone unless very stringent requirements are met.  And, all pharmacies that dispense controlled substance pharmaceuticals by means of the lnternet must be registered with DEA.  By ordering any pharmaceutical medications online or by telephone from unknown entities, members of the public risk receiving unsafe, counterfeit, and/or ineffective drugs from criminals who operate outside the law.  In addition, personal and financial information could be compromised.

Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat.

Report Extortion Scam: 1-877-792-2873

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