FDA cracks down on consumer scam involving ‘FDA special agents’

ROCKVILLE, Md. The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about a scam to extort money by callers who falsely identify themselves as “FDA special agents” or other FDA officials.

The agency has received several reports of calls enticing consumers to purchase discounted prescription drugs by wiring money to locations in the Dominican Republic. No medication is delivered, but a subsequent call is received from a phony “FDA special agent” saying that a fine of several thousand dollars is required to be sent to an address in the Dominican Republic to prevent legal action.

“Impersonating an FDA official is a violation of federal law,” FDA acting associate commissioner for regulatory affairs Michael Chappell said. “The public should note that no FDA official will ever contact a consumer by phone demanding money or any other form of payment. FDA officials always present identification in person when conducting official business.”

The calls appear to be from numbers in the United States, but are actually from cell phones or voice-over-Internet-protocol numbers.

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