The Board of Pharmacy is warning licensees to be aware of scam callers claiming to represent the California State Board of Pharmacy or another government agency. In many cases, callers are attempting to extort money or elicit sensitive information — e.g., license numbers, DEA registration numbers, etc. — from licensees.
Fake callers can use a number of techniques, including:
- A caller claims a licensee is under investigation by the Board, the California Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the FBI, or another government agency. In some cases, the caller also warns of discipline unless the licensee pays a “fine.”
- A caller warns a licensee not to report the call to anyone “or else you will jeopardize the investigation.”
- A caller requests a licensee’s cell phone number.
- A caller gives a fake call-back number.
- A caller spoofs the phone number. This happens when the caller ID falsely shows an incoming call is from the Board of Pharmacy or DCA. If a scam caller’s phone number appears to be a Board of Pharmacy or DCA telephone number, report the scam using the Federal Communications Commission’s consumer complaint form.
Licensees are urged to protect themselves and their pharmacy by following these tips:
- Call the board at (916) 518-3100 if there are any doubts or questions about someone claiming — by phone or in person — to represent the California State Board of Pharmacy.
- To check the identity of a caller who claims to be conducting a DCA investigation, call DCA directly at (800) 952-5210.
- If a scam caller claims to represent the DEA or the FBI, report the call to the DEA’s Extortion Scam reporting program or the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.