Buying Prescription Medicines Online: What are the Risks?

Copy of 249 Buying Prescription Medicines Online

Shopping for medicines online is one of the most convenient things that a customer could ever experience. Everything is very easy to find and everything that the customers need to do can be done with just a few clicks, saving a lot of effort and time. The medicines are also a lot cheaper compared to the local prices which gives the customers the opportunity to save money. But with all these benefits, customers should also watch out for the risks that purchasing medicines online entail. Buying drugs from online pharmacies may be a walk in the park but customers should always do it with extreme caution and tread lightly since there are a lot of harmful elements online and just one mistake can cause a very great loss in their end.

Online drugstores are great places to purchase medicines from because of their wide-ranging selection of products with the bargains and discounts. But there is a risk that customers should be wary of since not all internet pharmacies are legitimate. As the number of genuine web drugstores grew in the recent years, the number of fake and scam drugstores also increased with them and as a result, the good ones got mingled with the bad ones and many customers fell victim to them. What the scam drugstores did was they imitated the domain names of the trusted web pharmacies and even copied their web content to the last detail to trick as many customers as possible. These fake but seemingly authentic pharmacy sites are operated by hackers and scammers who use them as fronts to steal credit card information, hack bank accounts, infect customer’s devices with malware and spyware and many other schemes to defraud unsuspecting clients.

But as dreadful as their ploys may be, there are ways to identify the fake from the real and determine which is which. These scam pharmacies may have devised a lot of deceptions to appear very convincing to the eyes of the buyers but there are certain characteristics to their websites that they cannot shake off and they will be correctly recognized as scams. In this article, we will be discussing some of these distinctive features that the scam online drugstores have to help the customers, even the most innocent ones, avoid falling for the snares of the hackers.

Characteristics of a Fake Online Pharmacy

Unreal Offers/Bargains

Each customer would admit to this particular weakness in resisting offers that are too good to pass. The scammers behind the growing number of fake pharmacy websites have recognized this as one of the major weaknesses of the customers and capitalized on it, putting ridiculous offers on their fake pharmacy websites. Buyers should not rush head-on if they see some great bargains but should first think twice and be suspicious. It might just be a bait to lure them into filling out the forms with their personal and credit card info and when they realize their mistake, it’s already too late. Just like the saying that says “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”, customers should just pass on these unreal offers and never look back. Legit online pharmacies also have bargains and great value offers to its customers but not as ridiculous as what the fake ones have.

Domain name is HTTP and not HTTPS

Domain name is HTTP and not HTTPS

Many customers admit to overlooking this very simple detail in the domain names of the online pharmacies they are visiting and that’s the reason why at some point of their lives as online shoppers, they got tricked and the hackers managed to steal money from them. Customers should never ever trust online pharmacy sites whose domain name only uses the HTTP. HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol which means that the information being sent by the customer to that website is only in plain text and can be intercepted by outside sources. But for the web pharmacies with HTTPS on its domain name, the S stands for secure and customers should see a padlock icon before it which means the forms that they will be filling out is encrypted and their connection is protected. HTTPS sites are the way to go and customers should always be looking for them in the pharmacy sites they are visiting.

Obvious Traits

Faulty grammar and erroneous spellings

Buyers should look for a different pharmacy once they find errors in the spelling of the words in the site’s web content and poor grammar/sentence structure in the sites FAQ’s, Policy, About Us page, etc., since these are revealing signs that the website is illegitimate and was done by someone abroad whose first language is not English. Genuine pharmacy sites don’t have these kinds of errors and the content of its webpage is easy to understand. But just because a website’s English is good doesn’t mean that it’s already legit. Buyers should still take time to browse and investigate further before ordering.

Redundant and overly-positive onsite user reviews

It is not possible for a single online pharmacy to have a totally flawless record and not have some sort of negative reviews on their website. If all the buyer was able to read about on its testimonials section are positive reviews, it should already make them suspicious as most of the time, these kinds of reviews are fabricated and fake. If a reader would take time to go through these reviews, they will find that the reviews have a similar tone, as if made only by one person and trying hard to appear like it’s from different people. Customers should avoid these sites as these are obviously lures to convince the unaware.


Before trusting a certain pharmacy, a customer should first look for these four characteristics which mark a fake online drugstore. Not all fake pharmacies have the four of them but there would definitely be one or two of these mentioned conditions in a certain pharmacy that would allow the users to recognize and avoid them. It pays to be extra careful and it always makes the difference when it comes to online medicine shopping.

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