Phone scam involving fake DEA agent reported in Ephrata

A Lancaster County woman nearly got taken by a phone scam when someone called and identified themselves as an agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency. The caller claimed that the woman would be arrested for illegally buying diet pills and that she needed to post bail to clear up the arrest.

The caller then told the woman he would send a taxi to pick her up and take her to the bondsman. When a taxi from the Lancaster County Taxi Service arrived at the woman’s home on the 900 block of North State Street she called the cops. The dispatcher of the cab company, Mike Shirk, described the voice of the caller saying “it sounded middle aged and raspy voice, kind of nervous and he rushed through the call. It seemed a little shady.”

Lieutenant Christopher McKim has been working on the case. He said “the DEA does not call people and demand money. If that happens this is definitely a fraud. We don’t know if it’s the same people, we don’t know if it’s one person or if it’s many or if it’s a group or if it’s organized or from a different country. We don’t know.”

Lieutenant McKim said the phone number appeared to be coming from the Orlando area, but that he didn’t know if that’s actually where the call came from. According to the DEA, this isn’t an isolated incident. They’re aware of similar scams on a national level.

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