Scammer-operated fake pharmacies are the real menace to the shopper when it comes to purchasing medicines online. These are genuine-looking online drugstores that appear to be legitimate but in reality are stores that are just used as facades for defrauding customers. There are a lot of ways that these fake pharmacies are used by fraudsters to take advantage of the unsuspecting customers. The first threat that they pose to customers is stealing their credit card information.
When customers innocently visit these fake pharmacy sites and place their orders, they would not notice that they are actually inside a fake site. They might think that they have successfully placed their orders and paid for them but the forms that they have filled out, especially the ones for the credit card information, is just a sham and the fraudsters have been successful in tricking them out in providing these sensitive details.
Sample Credit Card Form
When the customers realize the error that they have made and no shipments arrive, it’s already too late and the damage has already been done to their credit accounts.
Another risk that the customers place themselves in when they innocently buy from these sham pharmacies is getting expired or fake medicines. Not all fake pharmacies are straight-up thieves as some of them still send their customers something and this practice that they do is far more threatening than just stealing money. When taken, expired or fake medicines can put the customers lives in great danger as these medicines are as deadly as poison. It can result in irreversible negative health effects and could even lead to death.
One of the many other dangers that the customers can experience if they happen to mistakenly make transactions with bogus online pharmacies is have their computers infected with malware and viruses. Compared to the other two dangers, getting swindled and receiving expired/fake meds, getting computer viruses is somewhat lighter but nevertheless, equally destructive. With these viruses in the customer’s device or PC, hackers will be able to monitor their online activities through Trojan viruses and wreak havoc in their emails, documents, online finances, and personal files.
How Hackers Use Malware
The list of negative possibilities in making transactions with these scam pharmacies is endless that’s why customers should be extra careful when shopping for medicines online.
Some customers may begin to think that it is a hopeless case and they’re better off shopping locally. They might have a point but differentiating a real pharmacy to a fake one is actually easy to do. There are just certain characteristics that the customers should be aware of when choosing an online pharmacy to buy from. These details are very easy to overlook so customers should always pay close attention to detail. A fake one may look similar to a genuine pharmacy but there are certain unchangeable traits that give them away. In knowing them, buyers can surely identify which online pharmacies to trust and which are the ones to shun.
The Traits to Look Out For
Faulty grammar and misspelled words
To detect these mistakes, customers should spend a few minutes in reading a pharmacy site’s About Us section and others such as FAQ’s and Policies. If they manage to see misspelled word sor a wrongly constructed sentence, it should already raise an alarm. Genuine online pharmacies have sophisticated yet easy to understand policy statements, FAQ’s and other necessary sections on their website. Customers can also look for mistakes in the drug information just to make sure they’re clear. Faulty grammar and spelling mistakes is just an indication that the site was made overseas by a person whose first language is not English, simply looking to trick customers into putting their card details in the forms.
Uses HTTP instead of HTTPS
This is one of the easiest to spot trait of a fake online pharmacy. In the domain name of a site, customers should check if what’s indicated is HTTP or HTTPS. The significance of this trait is that HTTP sites are not secure. If they will notice, there wouldn’t be a padlock icon before that kind of domain name, meaning the connection between the user and the site is vulnerable. HTTPS, on the other hand, is the sign of a secure website. It means Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure and it uses SSL certificates to encrypt all the forms that will be filled out by the customer. Encryption of the data on the site protects the customer from the outside sources who are only looking to steal valuable information for their use.
No contact information / Unreachable customer hotlines
Scam pharmacies would never want to be contacted back by the people that they have tricked so either they will not put any contact information on their bogus sites or they will put bogus contact details on their fake pharmacy website. What customers should first do before deciding to purchase on an online drugstore is to try their customer service hotlines first. It may take an extra effort from the customers but it’s totally worth it as it will save them from a world of problems. If they receive a response from the customer hotlines and the site’s email, then good. If they receive nothing or if they’re unable to reach the contact numbers given on the website, it’s a clear sign that it’s a counterfeit drugstore.
100% positive reviews
New customers should not believe online pharmacies that boast of unrealistic onsite customer reviews as most of the time these are fabricated and are used for the purpose of luring customers into buying from their fake meds store. Customers should just do one thing and that’s to avoid online pharmacies with nothing but good reviews.
These are the traits that the fake drugstores have and customers should take note of them. Buyers should just remember these characteristics to avoid the fakes and successfully buy their meds from the genuine ones. Online shopping of medicines may have some dangers but in knowing what to look out for, it is a very rewarding and convenient experience that they will enjoy.