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Beware: Fake DEA agents are scamming doctors

Our friends at the Nelson Hardiman law firm in Los Angeles alert us to a warning the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sent out in March about scammers who prey, not on vulnerable seniors, but on doctors.

The agency warns that "criminals posing as DEA or other law enforcement personnel" are calling the offices of DEA-registered practitioners and "threatening arrest and prosecution for supposed violations of federal drug laws or involvement in drug-trafficking activities."

The fake agents then demand the victim pay a "fine" via wire transfer or, in some cases, gift cards. 

To make it look good, the scammers often use the practitioner's National Provider Identifier (NPI) and/or state license number.

DEA has an online form for reporting this racket if they try it on you, or you can call them at 877-792-2873. 

Harry Nelson, Nelson Hardiman co-managing partner and author of The United States of Opioids, suggests the scam has legs because it coincides with an ongoing DEA crackdown on prescription opioid diversion, which may have some doctors nervous enough that the scam could get over on them. 

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