McGraw Warns W.V. Residents Of Extortion Scam

CHARLESTON, W.V. (AP) - Attorney General Darrell McGraw is warning West Virginia consumers to be wary of callers claiming to be agents with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or law enforcement officers.

He says it's part of an international extortion scam.

McGraw said Wednesday the criminals running the scam typically target people who bought drugs over the Internet or by phone, then tell the victim the purchases were illegal.

The callers threaten legal action unless fines ranging from $100 to $250,000 are paid.

McGraw says the victims also often have fraudulent transactions posted against their credit cards.

The callers always ask for money to be wired to a destination, typically in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic or Canada, threatening searches and arrests if they don't comply.

Victims should call McGraw's Consumer Protection Division.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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