DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver-area woman did some research and found out that she had nearly been victimized by a scam that targets consumers who have purchased drugs over the Internet or by phone.
Crystal Frasier told CBS4 she has “never been so frightened in my life” this week when she got phone calls from a man claiming to be a special agent for the FDA.
Frasier says the man told her she had ordered illegal drugs over the Internet from the Dominican Republic.
“He said that there were many agents in the area and that there were going to come and arrest me,” Frasier said.
Frasier described the way the person on the phone could get her out of the situation as follows: “You know I could possibly be taken out of this if I was willing to pay them $5,000.”
The caller told her she had ordered a diet pill and gave her the address where it was to be shipped. It was her old address, which made Frasier suspicious.
She then contacted the Secret Service and the FDA and learned this was a scam.
Several recent online reports warn of this extortion scam. Typically the criminals use telephone numbers that appear as though they originate in the United States.
It was a local number that called Frasier. When CBS4 Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks called the number she got a recording by the person Frasier says she spoke with.
This scheme most likely began with the theft of personal information from consumers who met the criteria of a buyer of prescription drugs online.
“He had all of my information, and that was the most terrifying part of all is that he knew so much about me.”
No known victim has been approached in person by someone associated with the scam.
Impersonating an FDA official is a violation of federal law. FDA agents are not authorized to impose or collect fines. Only a court can do that.
To report this scam contact the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations at (800) 521-5783 or accessdata.fda.gov to file a report online.