The Detroit Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration warned the public of a widespread fraud scheme in which scam callers impersonate DEA agents in an attempt to steal money or personal information.
The callers, using a false narrative that involves the target, ask individuals to verify personal information such as social security numbers or demand money to be sent via wire transfer or gift card.
In one false narrative, a scam caller says a car rented in the individual’s name was stopped at the border and contained a large quantity of drugs. In another, the individual is told their bank account has been compromised.
In some cases, callers have changed their phone numbers to imitate legitimate DEA phone numbers. Scam callers also have used fake names and badge numbers or reference well-known DEA officials or local police officers.
Callers often employ an urgent and aggressive tone and will threaten arrest, prosecution and imprisonment.
The DEA states they will never request personal or sensitive information over the phone and will only notify individuals of a legitimate investigation or legal action in person or by mail.
“Our office receives three to five calls a month from people all over the country, often moments after they have gotten off the phone with these con artists,” said Keith Martin, Detroit Field Division special agent in charge. “DEA personnel will never contact members of the public or medical practitioners by telephone to demand money or any form of payment.”