The Food and Drug Administration is warning consumers about a scam targeting people who purchase their prescription drugs online.
In a consumer alert released Tuesday, the FDA said criminals will contact individuals who have purchased online before and tell them that what they’re doing is illegal.
They then demand payment of a fine or fee that they claim will get the individuals out of legal trouble.
In reality, however, the FDA said that would never happen.
“No federal law enforcement official would ever contact someone for payment in that manner,” said Special Agent in Charge Phil Walsky, of the FDA’s office of criminal investigations. “You would only be fined after you went through the court system and it was determined that a fine was a suitable punishment.”
Dr. Eli Phillips, Jr., who works at the University of the Incarnate Word’s Pharmacy school, said the scam has been around for years.
“The best way to combat it is to hang up the phone when you’re suspicious,” said Phillips. “And don’t forget about the brick-and-mortar pharmacies.”
He said standing pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS are required to have a state license to operate, greatly reducing your chance to get scammed.
If you would still like to buy your prescriptions online however, Phillips recommends going to www.nabp.net.
There, you will be able to find a list of accredited online pharmacies, vetted by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.