Local woman receives calls that are part of international extortion scheme

OLATHE, Kan. - Cassie Woolworth is not in trouble with the law. She doesn't even have an outstanding traffic ticket. But she recently received phone calls that grabbed her attention.

"We have a search warrant for the premises. We have a warrant for your arrest," one voicemail message on Woolworth's phone said.

The caller claimed to be with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

"It is scary. The gentleman always states they are just around the corner," Woolworth said.   

The Justice Department recently released a public warning about this scam calling it an international extortion scheme, where the criminal impersonates a member of the DEA.  

Woolworth says she has received four of these calls in the last six months.  The caller usually accuses her of buying medications from an online pharmacy based in the Dominican Republic, something she's never done. 

The voice on the message the orders Woolworth to pay a fine that begins as high as $7,500 and often drops to just several hundred dollars.

"They take MasterCard, Visa and American Express," Woolworth said.

In one call, the scammer directed her to an address in the River Market area of Kansas City, which happens to be a Western Union location, where she can wire the money.

"That is ridiculous. I'm afraid there are people that are giving out their debit cards and paying for nothing," she said.

Drug Enforcement Administration says if you receive one of these calls, you should refuse to pay and report it.  The number to call is 1-877-792-2873.

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