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DEA warns registrants of extortion scam

Washington — The Drug Enforcement Administration is urging registered practitioners to be cautious of any telephone calls from persons claiming to be DEA agents or other law enforcement personnel for "supposed violations of federal drug laws or involvement in drug-trafficking activities," the agency said March 13.

According to an agency email to registrants, the DEA has received information from practitioners and the general public who reported calls from individuals identifying themselves as DEA personnel threatening legal action if a fine is not immediately paid over the phone.

When calling health care practitioners, the agency said callers often reference National Provider Identifier numbers and/or state license numbers. The callers may also claim that patients are making accusations against the provider and may threaten arrest, prosecution, imprisonment and revocation of their DEA numbers.