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The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs,
and Other High-Risk Merchants

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Regulatory Scrutiny of E-cigarettes Elevates Payments Risk

Vaping and e-cigarette use has risen exponentially in recent years, particularly among youth. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has labeled this trend in youth and young adults’ e-cigarette use as an epidemic, which has ultimately contributed to a shift in regulatory and law enforcement scrutiny of tobacco and nicotine sales. Regulatory approaches to merchants…

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FTC Steps Up Actions Against Deceptive Marketers Online

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced actions or settlements against multiple businesses it alleges engaged in various forms of deceptive and misleading online marketing. The variety of businesses — from supplement merchants to student loan consolidators — demonstrates the broad use of deceptive practices and how they continue to flourish online. It’s a…

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Coronavirus Fraud Nears $150 Million in Losses in US

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has received more than 200,000 complaints so far this year about fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with losses in the US totaling more than $146 million as of September 24, 2020.  According to the Commission’s Consumer Sentinel Network, which has been tracking complaints since January 1, 2020, the median…

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CBD Is a Novel Food, but What Does That Mean and Why Does It Matter?

“Novel food” is a classification for food or food ingredients in the European Union (EU). The import and sale of novel foods are regulated in the EU, and noncompliance can result in enforcement by EU Member States or the United Kingdom (UK). Online merchants selling food products or dietary supplements often ship worldwide, including the…

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Gargle Medication Highlights Problematic “Flea Market” Websites in Japan

Although there is still no product proven to cure or prevent COVID-19, misinformation abounds, both in the US and abroad. In Japan, the governor of Osaka publicly claimed that gargle medicine containing the antiseptic povidone-iodine can fight coronavirus. Within days, these products all but disappeared from drugstore shelves in Japan. Then, gargle medication started to…

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Keep an Eye Out for Illicit Lash Serums

In recent years, several regulatory agencies, including the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have released warning letters to companies that offer lash serums containing isopropyl cloprostenate, an analog of prostaglandins such as bimatoprost, which is a prescription-only active pharmaceutical ingredient in the US. Although this synthetic variation is in the same class of…

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Transaction Laundering Is the Greatest Risk to a Portfolio, New LegitScript Report Says

Among many challenges in the payments risk and compliance space, transaction laundering remains the greatest risk to a portfolio. That is one of the key takeaways from LegitScript’s inaugural Payments Risk & Compliance Benchmarking Report. More than one-third of survey respondents reported transaction laundering as very challenging or extremely challenging, and it is the top…

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While Many Industries Are Suffering, 2020 May Be the Year of the Supplement

The supplement industry grew by $345 million in 2019, which added to steady growth for the $32 billion industry. But that’s small potatoes compared to the first few months of 2020, in which supplement sales surged a whopping $586 million by mid-May alone, according to healthcare executive Kristin Hornberger of IRI Worldwide in a recent…

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Are Your Merchants Selling Extremism?

On May 29, a few blocks from a racial justice protest in Oakland, California, a security officer guarding a federal building was gunned down under mysterious circumstances. After an eight-day search and a shootout at an isolated home that left a sheriff’s deputy dead, the man suspected of the murder was captured: an Air Force…

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High Unemployment is a Golden Opportunity for Work-from-home Scammers

With unemployment at near-record levels and many people looking for opportunities that will allow them to earn income without having to leave the house, work-from-home scammers have an unprecedented amount of potential victims. LegitScript has observed and reported merchants that appear to be engaged in work-from-home scams, and as unemployment across the country persists, this…

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