Scam sites abound on the web today and the web pharmacy business is not exempt from the existence of nefariously operating online stores. Fake websites today are too crafty that they can make their sites appear legitimate using the right graphics, layout, and content. Because of this, consumers should all the more become vigilant against these types of websites and be keen on identifying which shops are a scam or not—not only because they are at risk of losing money, but because these fake online pharmacies also put the consumers’ health on the line.
Poor Scam Adviser Result for a Website
Signs of an Illegitimate Online Drugstore
The threat to consumer safety is real, but we can’t discount the truth that there are also plenty other legitimate online pharmacies capable of offering excellent products and service to the consumers. However, finding these stores is easier said than done, considering illegitimate stores have become too crafty, making them almost impossible to weed out.
Despite the fact that fake drugstores are hard to discover, there are actually tell-tale signs of fake pharmacies that surely give them away. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, there are several obvious signs of illegitimately operating online pharmacies:
- No Rx shops. The US FDA warns consumers of web drugstores that allow the consumers to purchase their medicines without sending the needed prescriptions. Look for stores that at least gives consumers medical assessments or online consultations before dispensing the medicines.
- Impossible offers. It is also advised by the US FDA to be mindful of the stores with impossibly low prices. Generic medicines are cheap, but consumers should doubt stores that almost give their products for free (for instance, buy 10 pills get 30 free).
- Have no licensed pharmacists to accommodate your inquiries. According to the US FDA, web pharmacies should have at least a licensed pharmacist who will be able to answer your questions regarding your medicines.
- Spam. Fake drugstores often send spam content and “unsolicited offers” and continually berate the consumers with repeated phone calls and emails for obviously too-good-to-be-true offers.
Apart from the US FDA guidelines identifying fake suppliers, consumers are also warned against stores that…
- Sell illegal medicine. Web pharmacies with narcotics or addicting drugs are usually illegal. Legitimate websites do not have these habit-forming drugs in stock.
- Are not responsive. Beware of stores that are not responsive. Benign stores are usually responsive enough when contacted by consumers.
- Are young. Web pharmacies that are safe to use are seasoned and have years of experience when it comes to serving the consumers.
- Have no reviews. Illegal pharmacies have reviews but are usually without external comments from former buyers.
What are the disadvantages of using fake drugstores?
We are cautioning the buyers to avoid using fake drugstores because of the considerable dangers of dealing with rogue pharmacies. Some disadvantages to using fake drugstores include the following:
- Getting hacked
- Getting your identity stolen from you
- Getting your financial details used
- Getting your money stolen from you
- Getting counterfeit items instead of genuine products
- Receiving nothing
- Receiving medications with the wrong active ingredients
- Receiving medicines with too little or too much of the active ingredients
- Receiving contaminated medicines that are unsafe to use.
Bottom line: You must be careful in choosing your online drugstore since fake online shops will not only inconvenience you by stealing your money, your identity, your financial details, or sending you counterfeit medicines that could possibly ruin your health.
Characteristics of a Legitimate Online Pharmacy
Keeping the rouge drugstore characteristics in mind can help you avoid running into illicit stores. However, it is only half the game—apart from educating yourself on the basics of identifying illegal stores, you should also be able to determine the characteristics of legal drugstores.
Here are some of the things you should look for in websites to assure their legitimacy:
- Online age. Legitimate web pharmacies are usually seasoned—you can’t find legitimate online drugstores which are only months into service. Scam sites usually do not last for more than a year, so as a rule, look for web pharmacies with years of service.
- Pass the legitimacy tests. You can use web domain checkers to confirm if a store is legit or not—shops with high trust ratings are usually safe to use. You can use Legit Script, Scam Advisor, and other domain checking platforms.
- Reviews. Good online pharmacies have excellent reviews from its former consumers; not reviews on-site, but external or third-party website comments from authority review platforms.
Sample of a Third-party Review Site
- Forum comments. Excellent online pharmacies also have mentions from members of forum sites. Find shops with good mentions from former users of the shop—you can ask around regarding the credibility of web pharmacies at forum sites.
- Adequate prices. Legitimate online shops have good, reasonable prices that aren’t too expensive or too cheap for the consumers.
- Responsive support team. Buyer support team response is one of the things you should look for in legitimate shops. A store should be responsive and have genuine numbers so they can be easily reached out to by the buyers.
Choosing legitimate online pharmacies for your needs only lead to advantages—if you know how to choose the correct online drugstores, you can not only stay safe while using the store and keep your sensitive details intact, you also get the assurance of using genuine and effective medicines for your medical concerns.
It is not easy looking for legitimately operating online drugstores, but if you look closely, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for. Apart from looking for the qualities that set the legitimate and illegitimate online pharmacies apart, you should also be able to constantly test the integrity of the stores you’re eyeing using domain checkers, reading reviews, and even real-time testing of their contact details.