Americans targeted in online drug extortion scam involving Dom Rep
Some people who have purchased drugs from online pharmacies are now finding themselves victims of extortion, warns the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S


After placing an online drug order, the purchaser gets a telephone call — sometimes years later — from someone posing as a law enforcement agent telling the victim that buying drugs over the internet is illegal and demanding they pay a fine.

The fines demanded have ranged from $100 to $250,000. They are told to wire the money to a designated location, usually in the Dominican Republic.

If the victim refuses, they are threatened with arrest, physical harm or incarceration. The criminals often use internet phone services such as Magic Jack in order to dial from a number with a North American area code.

According to the FDA, the extortionists use customer lists with extensive personal information gleaned from questionnaires people are asked to fill out when they order drugs online.

Sometimes they have police scanners running in the background in order to lend an air of legitimacy to the call.

Authorities in the U.S. and Dominican Republic have made arrests, but say the scheme is continuing



Read also: A federal grand jury in St. Louis has indicted 11 Dominicans for fraud


Dominican Watchdog Note:

Close Western Union and releted money transfer services to the Dominican Republic. That will make this scam more complicated as transfers can't be done in minutes and collected with fake ID's. If transfers had to be done to personal bank accounts it would be much easier to trace the criminals involved and that risk would reduce the scam immediately.

Go back | Date: 06 Feb 2011
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