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FDA Warns of Extortion Scam by FDA Impersonators

FDA Warns of Extortion Scam by FDA Impersonators

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning the public about criminals posing as FDA special agents and other law enforcement personnel as part of a continued international extortion scam.

This particular scam targets consumers who purchase drugs via “telepharmacies” or the Internet. Identifying themselves as FDA agents or other law enforcement officials, callers tell victims that their purchases are illegal and further legal action will be taken unless a fine — ranging from $100 to $250,000 — is paid by wire transfer.

“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.”

Names of victims are taken from personal information provided through previous transactions, and are also used for additional solicitations for pharmaceutical products, usually from overseas. The criminals make it appear as though their phone calls originate in the United States. Multiple national and international criminal investigations are underway.

Victims who have suffered monetary loss or have received a phone call from anyone claiming to be an FDA or other law enforcement official seeking money to avoid legal action regarding purchase of pharmaceuticals are encouraged to contact the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations and clicking “Report Suspected Criminal Activity.”

Always verify claims from official agencies.

  • When contacted by phone, get the person’s name, agency, and contact information. Then contact the agency directly to confirm.
  • If you receive anything on official agency letterhead, verify its authenticity by contacting that organization directly via a publicly available phone number.
  • If you receive government website links via email, type the address directly in the address bar of your web browser. Remember, all federal agencies use email addresses with a .gov email and website extension.

The FDA also cautions that pharmaceutical products offered online or by telephone sources of unknown origin sometimes contain undisclosed and harmful ingredients, or no active ingredient at all — and your personal information may be compromised.

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Photo courtesy of photoXpress.com

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40 comments

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6:09AM PST on Feb 18, 2011

Tempting to buy on-line or "Canadian" drugs, because the U.S. drug system is so exorbitantly expensive and unethical, ... but don't! Just another scam. Reform our pharma system.

10:47PM PST on Jan 13, 2011

Noted, thanx

6:33AM PST on Jan 12, 2011

This is OLD OLD news. It was first reported in 2008 by the FDA. They're just recycling their scares. All that money we pay them you'd expect more work out of them than that.

8:27AM PST on Jan 10, 2011

Thanks for the article!

3:58AM PST on Jan 10, 2011

Seabert B, i totally agree with you. how on earth can anyone think buying prescription drugs online is ok? i don't even understand how it can be legal!! second, anyone who believes such an obvious scam is an idiot. a government agency wouldn't send you an email demanding a fine paid by wire transfer. ridiculous.

to check a link's validity, just scroll your cursor over the link- at the bottom left corner of your browser window the link info will appear. if it doesn't match what they say the link goes to, don't click it.

1:09AM PST on Jan 10, 2011

As long as the FDA are doing the extortion then it's all right... lol.

Heaven forbid that somebody else do it... lamo.

These are the same people who want to change the names of poisons so they can continue forcing it down our throats. Just another NWO puppet.

They really are the FDA (Food & Drug Administration), they administer poisons and toxins making sure we stay sick, stay fat and continue making the 'Pharma' super rich... And now they the one's crying because they losing money... rofl.

4:10PM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Interesting information.

1:49PM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Go vegan!

5:44AM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Thanks for the info.

5:02AM PST on Jan 9, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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