When shopping online you must use caution. One issue that OTC medicine, vitamins, and Chinese Traditional Medicine buyer faces is fake online pharmacies. What are fake online pharmacies? Fake online pharmacies are scams, or bogus websites that use the internet and spam emails to offer drugs and medicine at very cheap prices. These scams can cause both financial and health problems.
Why would someone do this? Most spam email offers selling medicines or drugs are designed to steal your credit card details or to download damaging files (like spyware and key-loggers) onto your computer. The spyware and key loggers are used to see where you go online and/or to get passwords to other things like your bank account. They will then go and steal money from your bank account.
Some of these places are just sending out fake supplements and medicine and even if you actually do receive the products that you order, there is no guarantee that they are the real thing. In some cases, the medicines or other products may even damage your health. The good new is, there are many more legitimate online pharmacies like LiveLeanToday.com These businesses will have their full contact details listed, have a phone number a address and can be found on Google maps. You can find them on the BBB and one of the best ways to find out is to visit Whois.com. There you can find out who the website is registered to. If it is registered to a proxy service then I would avoid the site. If it is registered to a foreign entity, I would opt for a US owned site. With foreign sites, if you have a return or a problem the tend to not speak English when it comes to getting your money back.
One other situation to avoid are online auction sites. Many of items on places like ebay and Amazon are selling fake, stolen or expired products. Where do you think the people who use stolen credit card information sell their stolen goods. Ebay and Amazon typically do not care because they are getting paid regardless or they do not know. They are to big to check out ever seller on the site. If they do find out a seller is selling stolen items, they will cancel the sellers account, but they just open a new one under a new name. If a seller has a long time reputation that is not always a guarantee that the items are good because sellers get their information stolen and the account taken over by thieves.
Here are some warning signs.
If you receive an unsolicited email offering cheap or hard to get pills like ephedrine or treatments. Often, these emails will promote well known drugs and supplements such as Ephedra, Viagra, and male enhancement products. The subject title of the email often will have nothing to do with the products on offer. The words in the email are spelled incorrectly or have apostrophes and spaces in the middle of the words. This is done to try to avoid anti-spam filters. The email or website will sell you drugs that you would normally need a prescription for, even if you don’t have a prescription. The pharmacy’s website is based overseas or does not include a contact telephone number or street address.
How Protect yourself from fake online pharmacy scams
If it feels funny it most likely is. If the price is a lot cheaper than others you have to ask yourself why. How can this they sell it 25% cheaper than other sites when they all pay the same amount for the products. Use your common sense: if it sounds to good to be true it is. Do not risk your credit rating to save $5. Be very careful about offers for medicines, supplements or other treatments: always seek the advice of your health care professional. I would not even open suspicious or unsolicited emails which are spa, I would just delete them.
One big thing is not to click on any links in a spam email, or open any files attached to them. Check the website address carefully. scammers often set up fake websites with very similar addresses. Never enter your personal, credit card or online account information on a website that you are not certain is genuine.
Do your homework
Prescription only medicine requires a doctor or other qualified health care professional to have examined you and talked to you about the medical issue in question. Most medicines have at least some side effects and these can be very serious for some people. You should never start a new course of medication or start taking any new pills without first seeing your health care professional.
If you have a prescription and are interested in using an online pharmacy, you need to make sure that it is not a scam. Ask your health care professional if they can recommend any online pharmacies. Never access an online pharmacy site through a link in an unsolicited email.
Some websites and emails offer ‘generic’ versions of well-known drugs. However, many drugs are still protected by patents and no legitimate generic versions exist. Check with your local pharmacy or health care professional to see if a generic version of the drug exists.
If you are interested in buying from an online pharmacy, pay attention to the terms and conditions of the website. Make sure you also find out about how to get a refund if things go wrong. Check that the pharmacy is who they say they are—it is very easy to set up a fake website. Make sure the website includes full contact details (a physical street address and phone numbers).
If you want to use an non US online pharmacy, you should also check that the items you purchase does not contain any ingredients that are prohibited in US. For example, Ephedrine is legal to buy in the US but illegal to import in from a foreign country. Read cross boarder ephedrine for more details on that issue. Remember that if you deal with an overseas-based website, it can be much harder to sort out any problems that may come up.
If you receive an unsolicited email from an online pharmacy, delete it. If you do want to buy from an online pharmacy and you are sure that the online pharmacy is legitimate, there are still a few precautions you should take. Make sure you know exactly how much the order will cost (including delivery fees and any currency conversion rates). Also make sure you know how to get a refund if the product does not arrive, is damaged or not what you ordered.
If you get ripped off report them
Many victims just let is slip, or don’t want to bother because it is not worth the time,. If you think you have received an offer from a fake online pharmacy, you can tell the authorities through the report a scam section of SCAMwatch. You should also warn your family and friends about the scam.
Here is what I do. I only use US based websites no matter how good the deal looks it is just not worth going through identity theft to save a few dollars. I don’t open emails with offers from websites I do not recognize. Stay safe and stay healthy.