Scammers pose as DEA agents, call Portland woman

Scammers pose as DEA agents, call Portland woman

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by Wayne Havrelly, KGW.com

kgw.com

Posted on March 8, 2013 at 5:54 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 8 at 8:16 PM

PORTLAND - It's more than a little uncomfortable, when someone claiming to be a federal agent threatens you with arrest.

"Hello," said Kathleen Schaffer from North Portland, as she answered another threatening phone call.  "They said what I had done was illegal and that they were issuing a warrant for my arrest."

What she did, is something many struggling with our healthcare system do these days.  She purchased prescription pills for her bad back over the Internet from Canada. 

She says the pills worked well, but she stopped ordering them because of all the phone calls she was getting.

"I was getting literally 16 calls a day from different international pharmacies," said Schaffer.

However, now several years later she's receiving threatening calls from con artists claiming to be drug enforcement agents.  They claim she violated federal law by purchasing drugs on line from out of the country.  

We listened to the conversation as a man posing as Special Agent Thomas Harrington grilled her and said if she didn't pay a $7,800 fine immediately, that federal agents would arrest her within hours. 

"The DEA and any law enforcement agency for that matter would never call the public over the telephone and demand money or demand money period," said Special Agent Jodi Underwood with the Seattle DEA office. 

The DEA also emphasized that you're putting your health at risk by purchasing prescription drugs from out of the country, because they might be counterfeit.

The so-called Special Agent Harrington really changed his tone on the phone as soon as we revealed he was being recorded. 

"So we're on television?,"said the man on the phone. "Well then let me give a shout out to my mom and all my boys in Detroit and Mr. Havrelly I'll be using your name the next time I pose as a DEA agent and ask for money."  He hung up.

Kathleen hopes the threatening phone calls will finally stop. 

"Thank you so much, I really appreciate it," said Schaffer.

The DEA is concerned and has put together a special extortion scam hotline.  If you receive a call from one of these crooks, hang up immediately and call the real DEA at 1-877-792-2873.

 

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