Det. Carl Filsinger said the Weston Police Department has been receiving complaints about a phone scam in which the caller poses as a DEA agent informing people they broke the law by participating in the illegal sale and delivery of prescription drugs over the Internet. If they do not pay a fine via a wire transfer, the "agent" threatens to arrest them.
"I had two calls yesterday, which means there's been more," Filsinger said of such incidents when Weston residents were called. "If some people bought a prescription drug online, they may think they must have done something wrong."
Filsinger said the scam is usually done by criminals overseas.
The U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration's Office of Diversion Control's website has an extortion scam alert in the fraud.
"Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law," the alert says. "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 tells those who receive a call from an impersonator to refuse to send any money and to report the scam by filling out a form at this link.
The DEA also warns citizens 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 internet 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.