There are many scammers, people who sell untested pills from China, identity thieves and other kinds of crooks who specialize in scamming people through online pharmacies and they can get really creative and manipulative. Here is a list of some of the most common techniques employed by these people, together with examples:
Occasional Scammer – These pharmacies seemingly randomly fail to provide medicines. They often try to justify themselves by directly talking to their victims and trying to explain about their supply issues or lie about actually sending the medicine. The problem with these pharmacies is that as long as they don’t have a terrible failure rate, people still order from them.
Selective Scammer – Similarly to the Occasional Scammer pharmacies, this type often happens with email pharmacies. They usually have a limited supply of drugs so at some point they stop sending drugs to new customers or simply begin to take money and not send medicines to their selected older customers whom they deem to be least useful. Again, similarly to the Occasional Scammer, this may lead to the pharmacy having both a fan base and a hater base. This is of course an unacceptable scam tactic. Pharmacy Reviewer’s Blacklist keeps track of scam pharmacies.
Clone/Mirror Website – A scam pharmacy imitating a legitimate pharmacy through design and content. They simply take the money and disappear. Sometimes with the whole website, which was only ever set up to be temporary.
Fake Website – Similarly to the Clone/Mirror website, this pharmacy possibly doesn’t even exist. It only has a website which is used to lure people to spend money on medicines that they will never receive. Look up about the Unimedstore scam described on Pharmacy Reviewer for more info.
Fake Pill Seller – These scammers will send fake pills. The pills can be either placebo pills without any effect or worse – a drug that is not the ordered one.
Credit Card Fraud – These online pharmacies may send the ordered medicines, but they will also buy themselves expensive commodities with the Credit Card details, such as wine in Italy or computers in Pakistan, as was the case with this pharmacy: United Pharmacies was added to the Pharmacy Reviewer Blacklist recently due to repeated credit card fraud.
Hackers – There are online pharmacies who may or may not actually send medicines or steal money, but they sure will try to use all the personal information they know about you to try and hack your email or PayPal account passwords. Most often these crooks also misuse the Credit Card information they received.
Random Drug Sellers – Receiving shipments from these websites is highly unpredictable. These pharmacies either produce drugs themselves or have unreliable sources or whatever other problems, but they don’t always send the drugs that were ordered. This is of course of great risk to health, as the purchaser may overdose, suffer without their intended medicines or experience unnecessary drug effects.
Scam Forums – These forums are created for a sole purpose of advertising their own fake pharmacies or pharmacies who pay for the advertisements and positive posts/reviews. Negative posts about these pharmacies are instantly deleted.
There are several example of fake pharmacy forums discussed on Pharmacy Reviewer.
It may also be useful to note that there are many websites who employ several of the mentioned scam tactics at the same time. For example a clone/mirror pharmacy may take your money, send fake drugs and then fraudulently use your credit card. Great caution is advised when dealing with risky online pharmacies. Make sure to read other people’s feedback before a decision is made.