Beware of Phony TMB or DEA Agents
By Joey Berlin


The Texas Medical Board (TMB) is warning physicians and pharmacies of a scam involving criminals who sometimes pose as TMB officials. 

TMB passed along a report from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) that says physicians registered with the DEA are receiving calls and emails from criminals who identify themselves as DEA personnel or other law enforcement agents. 

“In some instances callers may claim to be employees with the Texas Medical Board, DEA, FBI or other law enforcement entity and may even attempt to spoof agency phone numbers or send documents on official-looking letterhead demanding money,” TMB said in its alert. “Please know the TMB would never call and make such requests for sensitive information over the phone or send demand letters for money to reinstate licenses or threaten the arrest of licensees. The TMB does not suspend licenses at the direction of the DEA, FBI or other federal entity. Additionally, the TMB has no authority to issue, cancel, or influence arrest warrants as some scams have indicated.” 

According to the DEA notice, the criminals mask their telephone number on caller ID by displaying the DEA Registration Support 800 number. A real DEA employee would not contact a registrant and demand money, or threaten to suspend someone’s registration over the phone, the DEA says. 

If you receive such a call from someone claiming to be either a DEA or TMB official, report it using the DEA’s online extortion scam reporting form here.  

For more information, you can also go here to locate and contact your local DEA field office, or contact the Registration Service Center at (800) 882-9539 or DEA.Registration.Help[at]usdoj[dot]gov

Last Updated On

February 05, 2020

Originally Published On

July 03, 2019

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Joey Berlin

Associate Editor

(512) 370-1393

Joey Berlin is associate editor of Texas Medicine. His previous work includes stints as a reporter and editor for various newspapers and publishing companies, and he’s covered everything from hard news to sports to workers’ compensation. Joey grew up in the Kansas City area and attended the University of Kansas. He lives in Austin.

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