Fake Board Representative/DEA Agents Extortion Scam
The Medical Board of California (Board) has learned that scam artists posing as U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents or Board staff are calling California physicians as part of an extortion scheme. The scammers identify themselves as DEA agents or Board staff calling about ongoing investigations regarding their license issued by the Medical Board of California (Board). The scammers tell victims their license may be suspended for illegal drug trafficking and the suspension means they will not be able to practice. The scammers may provide an “Agreement for the Bond and Protocols” that includes statements that licensees are not to share or disclose the investigation to any third party and agree to a bond fee payment of $25,000.00. The scammers’ phone number may show up as the Board’s toll-free number (800) 633-2322.
No DEA agent or Board staff will ever contact physicians by telephone to demand money or any other form of payment. If you receive a call such as the one described, refuse the demand for payment. Please also consider the following:
- If the caller is stating they are from the DEA, immediately report the threat using the DEA’s Extortion Scam Online Reporting form.
- If the caller insists that they speak with you right away, tell them that you’ll call them back directly. At this point, some scammers will offer you a phone number as a way to verify they are who they say they are. Don’t call this number. You’re better off looking up the number yourself on our contact page.
- If the phone number of the caller appears to be the Board’s toll-free number, it is recommended that you submit an online complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) using the FCC's Consumer Complaint web page.
- It should also be noted that the scam artists utilize sophisticated methods to spoof the Board’s phone numbers to make their scam targets believe that the Board’s staff is calling them directly. Do not fall for this.