The Iowa Board of Pharmacy (Board) urges its licensees and registrants to be cautious of telephone calls and letters from criminals posing as employees of the Board, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) threatening arrest or prosecution for supposed violations of federal drug laws or involvement in drug-trafficking activities.
Reports indicate that scammers are claiming to be state inspectors or agents seeking payments directly over the phone for supposed fines and violations relating to suspicious activity, drug-trafficking, etc.. Noncompliance threats can vary from disciplinary measures to legal actions and arrest. Scammers are using techniques to appear legitimate, such as using false identification and “spoof” phone numbers. “Spoof” calls disguise a caller’s true number and mimic verified phone numbers. In some cases, the scammers obtained personal information of the licensee such as license number, pharmacy address, and other details. Calls may be followed up with written scams demanding payment for nonexistent investigations.
If licensees receive suspicious calls, they should hang up and call the Board directly. Scammers posing as DEA, FDA or other federal agents should be reported to the appropriate agency. Licensees should report as many details regarding the incident as possible, and can additionally follow-up with the Federal Communication Commission.
The Board emphasizes that communication from any state inspectors or investigators will not include the immediate payment of fines over the phone. Licensees are notified of legal action in person or by official letter. Any concerns of suspicious activity should be reported.
Impersonating a federal agent is a violation of federal law.
Anyone receiving a telephone call from a person purporting to be a DEA special agent or other law enforcement official seeking money should refuse the demand and report the threat using the online form or by calling 877-792-2873. Reporting scam calls will greatly assist DEA in investigating and stopping this criminal activity. Any urgent concerns or questions, including inquiring about legitimate investigations, should be directed to the local DEA field division.
For contact information for DEA field divisions, visit the domestic division page on DEA.gov.
For Board scam reporting: call 515-281-6674 or submit here.