Dominican scam starts with a phone call

A telephone rings east of Milano. The caller ID shows: “DOM REPUBL” and it’s an 849 area code. There are no connections bet ween these residents of Texas to the Dominican Republic, so they let the answering machine gather information.

No messages are left. No surprise because this type caller seldom leaves messages.

But when you Google the number there is interesting information. Twenty-five people reported calls from it during the week and most live out of Texas.

Some reported the call was from a pharmaceutical company.

The company offers diet pills with no doctors prescriptions required, over-the-counter drugs that are cheap.

It’s a bargain too good to pass up so your place your order and wait for the delivery truck. The truck does not come, but a call supposedly from a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent does.

These imposters use actual names of DEA agents to frighten people into sending money to keep them out of jail.

The agent explains that dealing overseas for any drug is illegal and those found guilty will face fines and jail time.

Then they explain other options you can take to avoid jail time and reduce the amount you need to send. The caller will say something like “This is officer James Kashin and if you and your wife do not return this call, you are going to jail.” This will get your attention.

This is the tip of the iceberg, so-to-speak. The con artists has you hooked You feel guilty because you did order over counter drugs from the Dominican Republic. Now it’s your worse nightmare, you have been caught by federal officials and they are coming after you.

“David Brown” is another DEA agent who might call and say “You have violated the law and we are getting paper work completed to charge you with illegally purchasing drugs fro overseas.” Don’t try to flee the country. We will find you.

One potential victim, Kesha Howell, started to pay the amount of $1,500. Darren Dutil, another victim, described the panic he felt. He said the amount was a no brainer. He was ready to pay..

Carolyn Sirek, a legal secretary, did pay, mailed the money via Western Union. It depleted her savings.

The rea l DE A ind ic ted 11 Dominicans. The Dominican Republic government is working to have these men extradited to face charges in the United States.

Milam County TRIAD is concerned about this scam working in our area.

Watch for this scam. Notice “DOM REPUBL” on your caller ID and do not respond.

MCT members should also be aware that area code (849) is not the only code used in the Dominican Republic.

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2012-07-12 digital edition

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