There are many factors that have led to the rise of online pharmacies in the U.S. Chief among these would certainly be the lower cost, with legitimate Canadian sites, much like Canada Pharmacy, enjoying a sort of instant branding. Canada’s now widespread reputation for much cheaper medication draws customers towards any sites purporting to originate in that country. The market research firm Civic Science concluded in 2018 that as many of 1 in 9 Americans buy their meds online – and this is a number that hikes to 1 in 6 for those aged fifty-five or older.
As sure as night follows day then, scammers have descended upon this lucrative market, exploiting the customers’ general ignorance about how medicine is certified in other countries. These scam sites typically offer medication for the high-incidence ailments that customers typically consider urgent. This includes painkillers, cancer drugs, sexual aids, and, recently, even supposed Covid cures. There are tens of thousands of these rogue pharmacies online – although many do not have a significant reach – and ordering from them can be a hazardous business. It has been estimated that only three percent comply with pharmacy laws and professional standards.
There is a widespread idea that works very much in scammers favor – if you buy your drugs online and from a foreign country, you are already taking something of a risk. This is an erroneous idea – it’s actually perfectly possible to ensure that an online pharmacy is legitimate and that the drugs are even approved in the US. And there are a whole host of red flags that can alert you to a rogue pharmacy.
The Canadian Connection
It’s perfectly legal and safe to order from foreign online pharmacies if the drugs sold are correctly labelled and comply with FDA regulations. Canada is a country with a drug regulation service that was recently recognized by the FDA as being stringent and thorough enough to be officially designated equivalent. It is the source of medications and drugs that are totally safe and, of course, much more reasonably priced.
It is for this reason that many scam sites make an effort to appear Canadian. Yet there is one screening technique that potential customers can employ to vet such sites. A great many scam sites are registered to internet domains other than Canada (very often Russia), and this is one of the clearest red flags that customers should look out for. In short, it is very wise to check that a site selling Canadian drugs is actually registered in Canada.
These rogue online pharmacies may be out to sell everything from substandard to downright dangerous medical products, but they could also be in the business of selling you absolutely nothing at all. A great many scam sites are designed to facilitate identity theft, which is one of the modern world’s major criminal undertakings. They could also be out to simply facilitate payment before delivering nothing, in a money-making scam aimed at Americans desperate for prescription medication at massively reduced prices.
What to Look Out For
Besides checking that the web domain of an online pharmacy checks out with the country it is claiming to be from, there are several other things that can alert you to a fraudulent enterprise.
It makes sense to be wise to the types of products most often sold by these scams; such products include erectile dysfunction medication, Covid 19 treatments, and strong painkillers. Any unsolicited e-mails or social media posts are also a major red flag. Generally speaking, if they contact you before you contact them, it is time to get suspicious.