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DEA warns registrants of extortion scam

April 03, 2018 Washington — The Drug Enforcement Administration said April 2 that it is aware of an extortion scam targeting DEA registrants.

In an email alert, the agency said DEA registrants are being contacted by criminals posing as DEA employees or other law enforcement personnel and threatening to suspend their DEA registration.

"Please be aware that a DEA employee would not contact a registrant and demand money or threaten to suspend a registrant's DEA registration," read the alert.

The DEA said scammers are disguising their telephone number on caller ID by showing the DEA's Registration Support's 800 number.

The DEA is urging any registrant who is contacted by persons "purporting to work for DEA and seeking money or threatening to suspend" a registrant's DEA license to report the threat using the DEA's Extortion Scam Online Reporting form posted on the DEA Diversion Control Division's website.

For more information, visit the DEA Diversion Control Division's website at or call the DEA Registration Helpline at 1.800.882.9539.

The DEA is also warning the public about criminals posing as DEA Special Agents or other law enforcement personnel as part of an international extortion scheme.
According to the agency, the criminals are calling or emailing members of the public and informing them that, "purchasing drugs over the internet or by telephone is illegal, and that enforcement action will be taken against them unless they pay a fine" and in most cases instruct them to pay via wire transfer. "If victims refuse to send money, the impersonators often threaten to arrest them or search their property," the agency noted on its website.

The ADA's Center for Professional Success also has information about avoiding scams. Log on to and search for "scams" to learn about scams related to telemarketing, sales and other topics.