Reporting Monique Griego
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new scam is using DEA impersonators to target people who buy prescription meds online.
Monique Griego has more on what you need to look out for.
All over the Internet, rogue pharmacies are popping up and illegally selling medications online.
“Considering I’m not sure how legal it is in the first place, I’d be afraid I would get in trouble,” said Courtney Hegadorn.
“A lot of people going on the Internet or telephone to order prescription drugs hoping to get a better price,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Carl Kotowski.
Kotowski says many of those sites are now part of a scam that uses DEA impersonators to bilk customers out of money.
“They’ll receive these drugs and then somewhere thereafter someone from this company is calling them up and says, `Hey, you just bought prescription drugs. That’s illegal,’” Kotowski said.
In most cases, authorities say the impersonator tells the victim to pay a fine via a wire transfer, usually out of the country. If the victim refuses to pay, the impersonator threatens to arrest them or search their property.
“They should not give any type of payment to these individuals and just report it as soon as they can,” he said.
Kotowski says scammers are targeting people in Maryland and across the country.
The DEA has already shut down several of these operations, but the problem is ongoing.
“You stop one and another starts up,” he said.
While Kotowski warns against buying from these companies at all, he hopes people are aware of all the risks.
“Whenever you hear a warning like that, it just reminds you to be vigilant,” he said.
DEA agents say buying from these sites is also dangerous because you don’t know if what they’re sending you is actually real medication.