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Online weight-loss drug scams described

Posted 19 June 2024

McAfee’s Threat Research Team has described the problem of malicious websites, emails and texts, posts on social media, and marketplace listings used by scammers to capitalize on both high demand and high prices for semaglutide drugs that can help with weight loss.

McAfee researchers reported:

  • 449 risky website URLs and 176,871 dangerous phishing attempts centered around Ozempic, Wegovy, and semaglutide
  • scammers on Facebook impersonate doctors based outside of the U.S. and promise semaglutide drugs without a prescription
  • there were 207 scam postings in just one day in April for Ozempic on Craigslist and similar marketplaces
  • scammers offered drugs at too-good-to-be-true, deeply discounted prices
  • scammers offered to accept payment through Bitcoin, Zelle, Venmo, and Cash App, which are nonstandard methods for prescription drug payment.
  • scammers may fail to deliver drugs consumers paid for or may even deliver fakes. Examples include EpiPens loaded with allergy medication, insulin pens, or pens loaded with a saline solution

They advise consumers to be wary of semaglutide drugs sold: (a) without prescriptions, (b) from unlicensed pharmacies, (c) at unreasonably low prices, (d) via websites that don’t provide verifiable product information, and (e) with testimonials.

Reference: Karnik A. How Ozempic scams put people’s finances and health at risk. McAfee Blog, June 12, 2024

Source: Consumer Health Digest #24-24, June 16, 2024

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