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News & Updates

The Latest on Internet Pharmacies, Supplements, Designer Drugs,
and Other High-Risk 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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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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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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New Warning Letters Signal Forceful Approach to Containing Coronavirus Treatment Claims

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday seven warning letters they issued jointly to business owners making potentially problematic claims that their products can treat or prevent the new coronavirus. These letters appear to reflect aggressive action by the federal agencies to stop businesses capitalizing on COVID-19 fears…

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North Carolina Man Receives Maximum Sentence for Selling Dangerous Chemical for Weight Loss

The US Department of Justice announced recently that North Carolina resident Barry Clint Wright was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in the online sale of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), a substance abused by bodybuilders and other people for weight-loss purposes. Wright, 38, received the maximum statutory sentence for introducing an unapproved drug…

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Five Reasons Counterfeit Goods Put You at Risk

Intellectual property infringement made news last month with noteworthy enforcement and legal actions in the United States and beyond. First, a US federal complaint described an international counterfeiting ring that smuggled $472 million worth of counterfeit sneakers into the country. Then, Europol announced it had shut down more than 30,000 websites for selling fake or…

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Are Synthetic Cannabinoids Behind Recent Vaping-related Lung Injuries?

As of early December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 48 deaths and nearly 2,300 hospitalizations associated with e-cigarettes and vaping. While the CDC has identified many brands responsible for the outbreak, there is still considerable uncertainty about what substance in vaping products is causing these illnesses. New research has left…

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“Alzheimer’s” on Track to Win LegitScript’s Infamous Yellow Flag Award for 2019

“Alzheimer’s” and related disease terms are on track to be this year’s top impermissible supplement marketing claim, which would earn it the LegitScript Yellow Flag Award for 2019. With four months still left in the year, will “Alzheimer’s” beat last year’s top impermissible claim — “inflammation” — or 2017’s winner, “cancer”? Only time and shady…

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