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Fake agents posing as FDA special agents

Published:Thursday | December 31, 2009 | 2:18 PM

The US Food and Drug Administration is warning the public about criminals posing as FDA special agents and other law enforcement personnel as part of an international extortion scam.

The agency says victims are usually those who have previously purchased drugs over the Internet or through telepharmacies.

As part of the scam, buyers are informed that purchasing drugs over the Internet or the telephone is illegal.

The buyers are also told that law enforcement action will be pursued against them unless a fine or fee ranging from 100 to 250,000 dollars is paid.

According to the FDA, the criminals then request that the buyers send money by way of a wire transfer to a designated location, usually in the Dominican Republic.

If victims refuse to send money, they are often threatened with a search of their property, arrest, deportation, physical harm, and or incarceration.