Good afternoon and welcome to another Tech 5 program and a five minute trip into the amazing world of technology. This is Ben Harrison.
Over the past two weeks, I have received at least 50 emails advertising online pharmacies. Most used the same text with the subject heading “The Best Pharmacy On Line”. All go on to let me know how I can buy prescription drugs, including Viagra without a prescription and have it delivered to my door at a cost far below the selling price. Tempting? If you live in the US; If you do not have a medical/drug plan; if you have a serious illness like terminal cancer, HIV Aids etc., and live in a country that has not given FDA approval to the drug that might save your life, perhaps!
Think about it: It couldn’t be easier—ordering prescription drugs online with a few clicks of the mouse and having them delivered right to your door, without ever having to see a doctor.
But is it safe? Is it legal?
Often not. And you need to know the risks.
There are plenty of legitimate pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies (including online ones) that follow all the laws and regulations and put public safety first.
But there are many that don’t—they are just out to make a fast buck at your expense. These businesses fill orders without prescriptions. They pay doctors just to take a quick glance at your brief medical questionnaire. They don’t know if you are drug-addicted, underage, or have another condition that their medications could make worse. And what’s more? They don’t care.
Worse yet, the products they peddle are questionable, at best. The drugs may be way past their expiration date. They may be counterfeit, mislabelled, adulterated, or contaminated. And they may well be made from suspect raw materials in underground laboratories in the U.S. or overseas, far from the safety-conscious eyes of the Food and Drug Administration.
Part of the problem is that these illegal pharmacies are all over the Internet. More than 80,000 “portal” websites currently sell ad space for these medications and link to one of more than 1,400 “anchor” websites that allow customers to place orders through illegal pharmacies. You don’t even have to search for these offers—they often come straight to your inbox as they did mine as e-mail spam, enticing you with an unlimited supply of low cost drugs.
Are there ways to tell whether an online pharmacy is legal? Definitely and here’s what to look for. Legitimate pharmacies:
- Require a prescription from a licensed doctor, usually by mail (if they accept a fax copy, they will always call your doctor to verify the prescription);
- Make you submit a detailed medical history;
- Clearly state their payment, privacy, and shipping fees on their sites; and
- Use secure or encrypted website connections for transactions.
In the US, the FBI has made Internet pharmacy fraud one of its top health care fraud priorities. The FBI works closely with state and local law enforcement, and, because many illegal online pharmacies have global connections, they coordinate with overseas partners.
Just one example of a major crackdown: a short while ago: a San Diego grand jury handed down an inditement against 18 people, charging them with operating an illegal online pharmacy that netted more than$126 million over a two-year period. This network included everyone from doctors and druggists to credit card processors and affiliated websites that advertised the illegal drugs and allegedly received over a million Internet orders from customers in all 50 states.
Do your homework and steer clear of illegal Internet pharmacies, even if the prices are tempting. It’s your health, after all.
In conclusion, another group of spam email scams we are seeing include:
Miracle cure scams prey on the sick or desperate by selling drugs or treatments that don’t work or are even dangerous.
False claims are made to mislead you into buying ‘revolutionary’ pills, creams, diet advice or machines.
Dating and romance scams try to lower your defences by appealing to your romantic or compassionate side. They play on emotional triggers to get you to provide money, gifts or personal details.
If you are contacted by a psychic or clairvoyant offering you mystical secrets to wealth, health and luck, be very wary. Do not be fooled by fantastic claims and promises, they may be scams.
If you would like to see a transcript of this or other Tech 5 programs, please visit www.ezeeradiosvg.com.
This is Ben Harrison from EEZEE Radio 91.1 AND 102.7 on your FM DIAL in St. Vincent and the Grenadines