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Scammers portraying DEA agents

August 20, 2013

Just how low are scammers willing to go? Consider what happened just last week to a Mercer County woman, who was contacted by a man claiming he represented the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.


The man claiming to be a DEA agent told the unsuspecting woman that federal authorities were going to arrest her because dietary supplements she had purchased online contained crack cocaine. The woman was concerned — as would most citizens who receive such a call would be.


However, it soon became clear to the woman that the man claiming to be a DEA agent was in fact a scammer. He told the woman there was a way out of the federal charges. And of course it involved giving out either bank account information, credit cards or Social Security numbers. In another words, he was trying to gain access to her personal information — and her bank account in particular.


The woman, who requested that her name not be used in print, said the first call arrived on a Monday. It was a message left on her answering machine stating the DEA needed her to call. The number had a Washington area code, so it seemed legitimate at least for the moment. …


The woman wisely realized it was a scam, and the told the man that his claim was “ridiculous” and an obvious scam. She then correctly reported the caller — and the phone numbers left on her answering machine — to the West Virginia State Police.


As scams targeting folks in the region continue to become more elaborate, area residents are reminded of the need to be extra vigilant. And with the looming Oct. 1 implementation date of Obamacare, we are already seeing an increase in scams related to the new Affordable Care Act law.


— Bluefield Daily Telegraph