Purchasing medications online can save you a lot of money, you could get the same medicines you buy in your local pharmacy at much-reduced costs, but there are some potential downsides. There are a huge number of pharmacies to choose from but most of these are looking to scam you. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy estimates that 95 percent of online pharmacies are frauds. But if you fall into their trap, what can you do and how can you prevent further losses?
When you realize you have been the victim of an online pharmacy scam you need to take action. Don’t just continue to take the pills if you have them, or do nothing about your financial loss. There are some things you need to do to make sure the situation doesn’t become worse than it already is.
There are a number of things that can go wrong when you order pills from a site that is found in scam online pharmacy reviews 2020. The drugs could be unsafe to take if you ever actually receive any meds when you order them.
- 1 What Can Happen if You Order from a Scam Pharmacy
- 2 What Should You Do if You Suspect the Pills are Fake
- 3 Getting Your Money Back
- 4 Payment Security
- 5 Other Problems
- 6 Conclusion
What Can Happen if You Order from a Scam Pharmacy
There are a few things that could happen when you place an order with an unreputable drugstore. Perhaps they won’t do anything and you will lose your money. If you do get the pills, probably after a longer wait than you might have anticipated they could be fake. Let’s look at the possibilities:
- Steal your money
- Very long delivery time
- Confiscated by customs
- Low-quality and counterfeit pills
- The pills could be genuine
If you do get pills, you have no way to be sure that they are genuine. They might look real, but counterfeit drugs are designed to appear real with a box that looks like the real thing. But when you take them you might not find that they perform as you were expecting.
There is a chance that the meds you get in the mail are genuine, but it is a risk and you can’t be certain if the drugs are as they claim to be. The pills could have the wrong ingredients or different amounts than expected when you purchase through an unreliable pharmacy.
The store will give you some idea of the delivery time you can expect, often this isn’t what the customer actually finds when they order. They might tell you that the drugs will arrive at your door in 2 or 3 weeks, but you could be waiting for over a month. This could mean that you run out of the pills you need and there could be repercussions to your condition if there is a break in your treatment.
Sometimes pills can be stuck in customs or confiscated completely. If this happens, you can ask the pharmacy to resend your order and some stores do claim to offer this service. Whether you actually get your order after contacting them is another matter.
Customer support from scam or dubious online pharmacy stores isn’t normally easy to contact. If you do get a response they may say that they are resending your order, but there is no guarantee this will really happen.
What Should You Do if You Suspect the Pills are Fake
Low-quality, fake or counterfeit drugs are dangerous and you should immediately stop taking them if you have suspicions. You may find that they don’t produce the results you are expecting or have found before when taking the meds.
If you are taking the pills for a medical issue that should be fixed by them, and nothing seems to be happening, the drugs could be fake. You shouldn’t continue to take them and seek a legitimate source of pills that you know are genuine. Failure to do so could mean your condition doesn’t clear up as expected and this could lead to a more serious healthcare intervention being needed.
If the drugs contain the wrong ingredients, you might be taking rat poison for all you know. If you are lucky, there might be no active ingredients, and taking the pills won’t do anything to you unexpected. This means that wasted your time and money on a product that doesn’t do as the store claimed, and could lead to a worsening of your health with a treatable illness going untreated.
Getting Your Money Back
If you have found that the pills you have bought from the online pharmacy aren’t as you expect, your first action should be to contact the pharmacy site.
While this might often be very difficult for stores that aren’t legit, you should make the effort as you never know they could give you your money back.
Chances are that you will have difficulty contacting them through their limited contact options. If they do respond they will likely try to convince you that the pills you have received are reliable for you to take, or that they will send the money to you. This may very well be a lie and you shouldn’t trust a business that has already lied to you.
Credit Card Orders
If you have purchased through your credit card you may have some protection if the pharmacy doesn’t refund you your money. You will have to contact them to see if they will refund your money depending on what or if you received anything and their policies.
Wire Transfer and Cryptocurrency Transactions
If you used a wire transfer service or purchased using Bitcoin, there isn’t any way of getting a refund. Wire transfer money can be collected by someone in person in a participated retail store, and this means that it can be anonymous. This being the case, it is all but impossible to get your money back once it has been sent.
Cryptocurrencies are normally anonymous as well. So if you want to claim back your money there isn’t any realistic way it can happen.
Using either of these payment methods will essentially mean that the payment is final, and you won’t get it back no matter what happens with your order. These payment options are more commonly used by scam pharmacies for these reasons, with them often offering discounts if you pay through these methods.
If you have made a purchase with a pharmacy that isn’t reliable, how do you know that your financial information is still secure? The answer is that you don’t, and you could find that purchases are billed to your account that you don’t recognize. This is a problem that all too many people find after purchasing from unreliable pharmacies.
The action you should take will vary depending on the payment method you used.
Credit or Debit Cards
If you have given your credit card details to an unknown online pharmacy business, contact the card issuer and tell them about it. They may issue you with a new credit card or perhaps block payment requests made in foreign countries.
If they issue a new card, it will take a few days to arrive so you need to check your credit card statement for any purchases you don’t recognize. If you find a purchase that you are sure you didn’t make, you will have to phone the card issuer to dispute it. It isn’t always easy to convince the lender that you haven’t made the purchase you are trying to dispute, however.
Some pharmacies you may find don’t even have the basic level of security on their payment pages. This could mean that your payment details fall into the hands of hackers. Check for the padlock symbol in the address bar of your browser.
If the transaction pages aren’t secure, don’t give them your information. A reputable store isn’t going to be using checkout pages that are open to abuse, cancel your order, and go to a pharmacy that is reliable.
If you have paid using Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies you won’t have to worry about further problems, though recovering money that you have sent them will be all but impossible.
If you are asked to make payment via Western Union, MoneyGram, or another transfer service, this could be a warning that they aren’t a reliable pharmacy. While there won’t be a risk of further money being taken from you, the person collecting the wire transfer can be anonymous in an unknown country.
When ordering from scammers, you give them a lot of your information. This could lead to it being sold to spammers, and you being repeatedly called or emailed from other people looking to rip you off. You may be able to block the calls or emails, but you may find getting a new email address or phone number is the only way to stop them permanently.
A potentially worse problem could be identity theft. Since you are giving your details to an unknown and unreliable source, anything could happen.
Looking for a good deal online is normally an easy way to save money, but when it comes to pills there are extra reasons to be cautious. If you get it wrong and find yourself on a scammer’s pharmacy site you could be in for some problems.
The site might look professional enough, but the service you get won’t be. Check scam online pharmacy reviews 2020 to avoid falling into the scammer’s trap.