Compared to how shopping for medicines has been done in the past, we have already come a long way. Of course, the good old local pharmacies still exist today to provide the majority of the medical needs of people but because of the advancements in technology, it has already become possible to take pharmacies online, unlocking more possibilities for the customers. Purchasing medicines are now a lot more convenient as buyers can now get their medicines wherever they are and whenever they want as long as they have internet connection. It has saved a lot of customer time and customer effort and it’s no longer a burden especially for the elderly to fill their prescriptions as they can now do the ordering and the paying of medicines online. But along with these progressions, there were also risks that came with them as scammers and opportunists have made themselves counterfeit sites that imitated legitimate online pharmacies and used them for fraudulent activities. Because of this, many have been victimized and got swindled of their money.
Not only do these scam pharmacies steal money from their customers, they are also able to infect their computers and mobile devices with viruses and spyware which puts customers at even greater risks, exposing them to more dangers online. Scammer-operated fake pharmacies can also do other equally destructive things to customers such as stealing their identities and messing their emails up without the customers even knowing about it. People who are keen observers and has the knowledge to distinguish the fakes from the legitimate online drugstores manage to avoid these bogus pharmacies and stay safe. Others who are unaware, mostly first-time shoppers, are the ones who often fall for these deceitful schemes and take damages.
Purchasing at online pharmacies may carry these certain risks but there are sure ways to determine the reliability of a certain online pharmacy and know if it’s a real one or a sham. Fake online drugstores may have been able to mingle themselves with the genuine pharmacies and even look like a real one but there are certain characteristics that will give their disguises away and expose what they really are. In this article, we will be taking a look at some of these features that will help customers find the right pharmacy to buy from and avoid the ones who are bogus and potentially dangerous.
Be Safe Online: Characteristics of Bogus Online Pharmacies
Overly-positive onsite reviews
To get customers to shop from their fake drugstores, scammers fabricate positive customer reviews in an effort to make the site look good and inviting. But as the customers take time to read these so-called buyer reviews, they will notice that 100% of them are optimistic which is somewhat unrealistic since there will always be customers who will be unhappy with a product or service and most frequently these are the ones who put the customer reviews in. If one will take the time to read these reviews, it will be noticed that these reviews are very similar to one another, as if it was written by one person. The voice in these reviews is redundant and are just obviously written to deceive. Visitors will also notice that there are no timestamps for these testimonials which are very dubious and even if there are, the time that they were written were just minutes apart from each other. Customers should stay away from pharmacy sites with these kinds of reviews and should only buy from the reliable ones.
Unreliable contact information
Online pharmacies who are obviously fake have no contact information available and for such drugstores, customers should automatically avoid them. Legitimate pharmacies have contact details displayed on their websites and these contact details are contactable. For phone numbers, there should be customer service representatives who are ready to answer and provide assistance on the other end. For an online pharmacy’s email, customers should be receiving responses for as quick as 15 to 30 minutes since there should be an email support team on standby for customer’s emails. It would wise for customers to first try contacting the email and the phone numbers provided by a certain online drugstore to check if they will be getting any response. Being unable to contact them or receiving no answer from any of them would mean that a pharmacy is likely a fraud and clients should stay away from it.
Be Safe Online: Additional Bogus Pharmacy Traits
Domain name is recently created
By doing a domain WHOIS lookup, customers will be able to find out about the online pharmacy’s creation date, expiration, and their real contact details. If the creation date of a site in the WHOIS lookup is less than 1 year, it’s most probably fake.
Recently Created Website
It will also allow the customers to know the real physical location of the website, not the place where it’s claiming it is located. An online pharmacy might say that they’re from the UK but if the domain WHOIS lookup provides a different location other than the UK, the site is likely a fraud.
Not using SSL certificates
SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates are the ones that determine if the information provided by the customer on its site is protected or not. Pharmacy sites that use SSL certificates have a padlock icon before it’s domain name which means that it’s secure and that the details are encrypted.
Warning for Sites that don’t use SSL Certificates
Sham pharmacy websites don’t have SSL certificates which is shown by the absence of a padlock icon before its domain name or if its domain name starts with HTTP instead of HTTPS. HTTPS is the indication that the connection is secure and that the customer can proceed with ordering.
Customers should not be deceived by the sophisticated appearances of some pharmacy sites but should be cautious at all times. The legitimate and the fake online drugstores might look the same on the first glance but just to be safe, customers should dig deeper to make sure that the characteristics mentioned in this article do not describe them. There’s nothing to lose in being extra cautious and it might just be the difference between safety and getting in trouble.