Recently our department has received several reports in which victims said that they were contacted by phone by someone posing as a “DEA Agent”. Victims are told that their Social Security Number has been associated with drug running, sex trafficking, etc. and that there is a warrant for their arrest. Victims are then asked to purchase gift cards from different locations so that the warrant can be cancelled.
What You Can Do to Avoid a Scam
Block unwanted calls and text messages. Take steps to block unwanted calls and to filter unwanted text messages.
Don’t give your personal or financial information in response to a request that you didn’t expect. Legitimate organizations won’t call, email, or text to ask for your personal information, like your Social Security, bank account, or credit card numbers.
If you get an email or text message from a company you do business with and you think it’s real, it’s still best not to click on any links. Instead, contact them using a website you know is trustworthy. Or look up their phone number. Don’t call a number they gave you or the number from your caller ID.
Resist the pressure to act immediately. Legitimate businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
Know how scammers tell you to pay. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.
Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone — a friend, a family member, a neighbor — what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.
If you were scammed or think you saw a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission.