Navigation Links
FDA Warns Public of Continued Extortion Scam By FDA Impersonators
Date:1/7/2011

SILVER SPRING, Md., Jan. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning the public about criminals posing as FDA special agents and other law enforcement personnel as part of a continued international extortion scam.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090824/FDALOGO)

The criminals call the victims -- who in most cases previously purchased drugs over the Internet or via "telepharmacies" -- and identify themselves as FDA special agents or other law enforcement officials. The criminals inform the victims that purchasing drugs over the Internet or the telephone is illegal, and that law enforcement action will be pursued unless a fine or fee ranging from $100 to $250,000 is paid. Victims often also have fraudulent transactions placed against their credit cards.

The criminals always request the money be sent by wire transfer to a designated location, usually in the Dominican Republic. If victims refuse to send money, they are often threatened with a search of their property, arrest, deportation, physical harm and/or incarceration.

"Impersonating an FDA official is a violation of federal law," said Dara Corrigan, the FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. "FDA special agents and other law enforcement officials are not authorized to impose or collect criminal fines. Only a court can take such action."

In most instances, victims of extortion-related calls have also received telephone solicitations for additional pharmaceutical purchases from other possibly related, illegal entities located overseas. The extortionists use customer lists complete with extensive personal information provided through previous purchase transactions. These include names, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, purchase histories and credit card account numbers.

Typically, these criminals use telephone numbers that change constantly and make it appear as though their calls originate in the United States.

No known victim has been approached in person by a law enforcement impersonator associated with this scheme.  

The FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations, with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, with the support of various U.S. Attorneys, are pursuing multiple national and international criminal investigations.

Arrests have been made and additional prosecutions are pending; however, the scheme is likely to continue. The FDA has issued similar warnings in the past:


Victims of this scheme who have suffered monetary loss through the payment of funds in response to an extortion call, or anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be an FDA or other law enforcement official who is seeking money to settle a law enforcement action for the illegal purchase of drugs over the Internet may obtain a victim questionnaire by contacting the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations and clicking "Report Suspected Criminal Activity."

Anyone receiving a purported official document on agency letterhead may verify its authenticity by contacting that organization directly via a publicly available phone number. Additionally, all federal agencies use email addresses with a "gov" email extension.

The FDA also reminds consumers that pharmaceutical products offered online and by telephone by sources of unknown origin can pose a substantial health risk. Products recovered during this investigation that were purchased from online or telephone sources have been found to contain trace amounts of heroin, other undisclosed and potentially harmful active pharmaceutical ingredients, or no active ingredient at all. Purchases should only be made from licensed pharmacies located in the United States. In addition to the increased risk of purchasing unsafe and ineffective drugs from websites operating outside the law, personal data may be compromised.

For more on unlawful drug sales on the Internet, see Protecting Yourself.

Extortion Scam: Questions and Answers

Media Inquiries: Christopher Kelly, 301-796-4676, christopher.kelly@fda.hhs.gov

Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA


'/>"/>
SOURCE U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Agriculture Department Warns Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk Sold by Chester County Dairy
2. Agriculture Department Warns Consumers of Tainted Raw Milk Sold by Lebanon County Dairy
3. New Federal Stem Cell Rules Would Hinder Existing Research, Consumer Group Warns
4. Orkin Warns of Four Pests to Avoid this Fourth of July
5. FDA Warns Consumers about Counterfeit Alli
6. Toxic Chemical bisphenol A Still Not Banned By FDA; Schumer, Gillibrand Call for Ban; Govt Official Warns Public
7. Physicians Foundation Warns of Potential Impact From New Medicare Cuts Effective Today
8. H.E.A.T. Warns Drivers, Auto Dealers of Continuing Trend in Unconventional Auto Crimes
9. FDA Warns Users About Faulty Components in 14 External Defibrillator Models
10. FDA Warns About Fraudulent Tamiflu
11. FDA Warns Consumers to Avoid TimeOut Capsules
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2016)... YORK , April 28, 2016  While ... notably complement the company,s valve repair and stent ... move also places Abbott more firmly into patient ... of the fastest growing device areas, with double-digit ... its recent report,  Advanced Remote Patient Monitoring ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016  Marking its one year anniversary ... ovarian cancer risk test, Color Genomics ... that highly impact the most common hereditary cancers ... Color Test analyzes hereditary cancer risks for breast, ... cancers. The Color Test is physician ordered and ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016  The blood testing ... million dollars, according to Kalorama Information and The Freedonia ... immunoassays and nucleic acid testing.  The healthcare research firm ... progress in developing blood collection stations and in improving ... in Kalorama Information,s report, Blood Testing Market ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 29, 2016 , ... Memorial Healthcare System Graduate Medical ... (ACGME) that it has received accreditation for its residency program on Physical Medicine ... that Memorial is currently pursuing, including Pediatrics and Internal Medicine. This accreditation allows ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... On Tuesday, April 26, 2016 members ... celebrated the signature of Gov. Nathan Deal on SB 258, the “Rural Health Care ... Cumming), offers a 70% tax credit to individuals and corporations which donate directly to ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... The White ... repaying their loans, more information about their loan terms and accounts, and more ... loan debt, including federal and private loans, has reached $1.3 trillion, with 43 ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... April 29, 2016 , ... ... infants born with severe congenital diaphragmatic hernia have better survival rates if surgery ... diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)—a condition where the diaphragm fails to form completely, letting abdominal ...
(Date:4/29/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Mobility Designed is redefining mobility with their patent pending ... Crutch evenly distributes body weight from the elbow to the forearm. In consumer ... than with other crutches. , Co-founders Max and Liliana Younger were inspired to design ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):