A warning from the Drug Enforcement Administration about phone scammers targeting the elderly.

These crooks call people and claim your name was used to rent a vehicle that was stopped at the border with drugs inside. The crooks threaten to arrest you unless you wire money to them to pay a fine. Sometimes they demand payment in gift cards.

scam alert letting text on black background
Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

In another version of this scam, they claim drug dealers have compromised your bank account and claim to need your Social Security number or bank information in order to “reset” your bank account.

The crooks spoof actual DEA phone numbers to make it look as if the call is coming from the government. Sometimes they demand thousands of dollars. The thieves sometimes reference actual badge numbers or the names of real government employees. They’ve also targeted medical practices, claiming patients have made accusations against the practice.

These scammers get pretty aggressive when people question them. The DEA never calls people to ask for money oer the phone under any circumstances. Never buy gift cards to pay anything. That’s a sure sign of a scam. Gift cards are for giving as gifts, not paying fines.

It you’ve been approached by scammers, report it to https://reportfraud.ftc.gov/#/.

Reporting these scam calls will help federal authorities find, arrest, and stop the criminals engaged in this fraud. Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law, punishable by up to three years in prison; aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison plus fines and restitution.