Many customers think that purchasing meds online itself is the risk and because of that reason, many are wrongly convinced that all online pharmacies should be shunned. But this clearly is a misunderstanding since online drugstores are actually one of the best places to buy meds. In fact, it’s pretty convenient to purchase medicines online as one would no longer have to go out and the entire process can be finished in minutes. The affordable prices of medicines at online drugstores are also very good reasons for buyers to go online when looking for their needed medicines as it is a very good opportunity to save a lot of money. Online prices for medicines are very low compared to local drugstores who have very costly price tags for their products.
The ones to watch out for are the illegal ones, fake online pharmacies that appear to be genuine with all the bargains and cheap prices which are almost convincing. Many unsuspecting customers fall for these ploys made by scammers and hackers, thinking that they have found the best medicine bargains only to pay for non-existent products. Many don’t realize it at first but when they are already counting weeks and nothing arrives, it’s already too late and their cards have already been charged.
Some fraudulent pharmacies are not as straight-up bad as others as they still send products to their customers but the catch is if these medicines are not expired, they are nearly expired which is just as good as poison when taken. If other fake pharmacies steal money and valuable information from customers, others infect a customer’s computer of malware and spyware to spy on their activities. These scam pharmacies have greatly increased in number over the past years and it’s not easy for many people to recognize them because most of the time, the buyers have no idea on what to spot to know if a pharmacy is indeed genuine or illegitimate.
To help customers avoid falling victim to these online traps, here are some of the characteristics that should help them distinguish a fake online pharmacy from a real one.
Characteristics of a Fake Online Pharmacy
Customers should beware of online pharmacies that have offers which are too good to be true. Most of the time they are and being cautious about these types can save a customer from a lot of headaches.
Almost everyone has a weakness for discounts and bargains and the hackers who are behind these websites have capitalized on this fact. It’s indeed easy to lure customers in especially if a website promises a very cheap price for a drug which is known to be costly online and locally. Customers should stay away from these sites as their unrealistic offers are already telltale signs. Legitimate pharmacies also offer bargains on their respective sites but not at exaggerated proportions such as what the fake ones have.
One-sided, overwhelmingly positive reviews
Most scam online pharmacies also use this trick of filling their sites with positive reviews which are obviously fabricated due to the redundant tone and idea on each one of them, betraying the very purpose that they were made for. It’s obvious that these reviews would fool no one but some unwary customers still fall for the trap. When an online pharmacy is too spotless on its testimonials page with almost all of the reviews are about its trustworthiness, dependability, reliability, and consistency, 95% of the time it is a fake drugstore. A genuine pharmacy is transparent with its customer’s views and welcomes all sorts of comments be they positive or not.
If customers will only take a few minutes to browse a website and investigate first before deciding to buy, it can greatly help them to detect the pharmacy’s true nature. Fake drugstores are usually made by syndicates and hackers from different parts of the world and mistakes in grammar, spelling, and basic sentence structure should already alarm customers to get out of that site as they are better off looking for a different pharmacy to buy from. Legitimate online drugstores have not been made crudely but have been carefully designed by web designers and their web content is carefully thought of.
Other Traits to Look Out For
No Padlock Icon
If a website is indeed secure and safe from the information interception of being done by outside sources, customers would see a padlock icon before the name of the domain name of the website they are purchasing from. The padlock icon symbolizes that the website is secure and all the details they will be putting in are encrypted and undecipherable. Beside the padlock icon on the domain name of the website that the customer is visiting should be “HTTPS” and not “HTTP”. HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure which means that all the information that the customer will be entering in the forms like his personal information and his card numbers are secure. HTTPS websites use SSL (secure sockets layer) certificates to encrypt all the information provided by the customers which makes them inaccessible to third parties.
HTTP vs HTTPS
If a customer doesn’t see any padlock icon before the domain name of the online pharmacy they are visiting, they should abort any transactions that they are currently doing since these sites are not secure and it puts the customer’s personal and card information at great risk. These kinds of websites are the favorite place for hackers because they can easily steal valuable information from innocent people.
No Verifiable Contact Information
These types are the outright suspicious ones since most of the genuine pharmacies have a Contact Us page where customers would be able to reach them via email or phone.
No Contact Details
Fake online pharmacies also have no indicated street address on their websites which prevents most customers from finding out that they’re not real. A simpler tip would be to not buy from online pharmacies with no physical address.
Illegal pharmacies should be immediately recognized by customers at all costs to avoid becoming victims of fraud. The characteristics of scam pharmacies which are mentioned above are just easy to remember but helpful enough to keep buyers away from illegal online drugstores. Customers should first check for these traits at internet pharmacies before deciding to purchase.