SAN GABRIEL (CBS) — It’s a telephone scam that may not sound all that convincing, but police on Wednesday warned San Gabriel residents they could be ripped off if they regularly use mail-order prescription drugs.

Police said crooks posing as agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration tell the mark that a shipment of illegal prescription drugs being sent to his or her home has been intercepted in the Dominican Republic.

The addressee is then threatened with arrest unless a fine is paid, according to officials.

The call shows up on caller I.D. as being a U.S. number, but they typically originate in the Dominican Republic. The target is then told to wire money to an account, and given a number to call, police said.

At least one woman in San Gabriel has reported getting such a call, police said.

The crooks appear to be preying on mostly older people who regularly mail-order prescription drugs.

Dialing the call-back number can also be costly, police said, adding that it is set up to bill the caller up to $100 per minute.

Anyone targeted by someone with a similar story is urged to report it via the Federal Trade Commission website.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)
  1. The Mad Man says:

    If someone from the DEA calls me for anything, I tell them to call the police. First clue…Dominican Republic.
    Second clue…The addressee is then threatened with arrest unless a fine is paid, according to officials.
    If I get a call like that, I call the FBI!
    No one calls me about my drugs being mailed to my home except the company that mailed it. I only have drugs (legal) coming from 2 places and both #’s are listed on my caller ID. I have no reason to call them back unless my drugs don’t get here. Then I call the # I KNOW.

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