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Here’s one more reason not to order drugs from on-line pharmacies, in case the possibility of wasting your money on fake pills, having your credit card account sacked by thieves or poisoning yourself isn’t enough.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has posted a warning about extortion artists posing as FDA agents, threatening those who have purchased drugs on line and demanding that “fines” of $100 and more be paid by wire transfer, usually to the Dominican Republic.

The FDA said the victims, who usually had purchased drugs from Internet sources or telepharmacies, were contacted buy scammers who identified themselves as FDA agents or law enforcement officer from other organizations. The scammers tell their victims that ordering drugs via the Internet or by phone is illegal and they will be prosecuted if they don’t pay fines immediately.

The agency points out that their agents never contact offenders that way and only a court can impose fines.

The FDA said in the release: “Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be an FDA or other law enforcement official who is seeking money to settle a law enforcement action for the illegal purchase of drugs over the Internet should refuse the demand and call the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office at (800) 521-5783 to report the crime.”

FDA news release here.

Tom Kelchner