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

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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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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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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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LegitScript Waives Some Certification Fees to Help Telehealth Providers Meet Pandemic Demand

LegitScript’s mission — making the internet and payments ecosystems safer and more transparent — is more important than ever in the midst of the ongoing pandemic related to the novel coronavirus. As you may have read in the media or with our own reporting, there is a lot going on with cybercrime related to the…

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Price Gouging from Coronavirus Opportunists Poses Credit and Regulatory Risk

As the pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus spreads, opportunistic scammers have begun taking advantage of panicked consumers through price gouging on basic healthcare products, such as hand sanitizer, face masks, and toilet paper. Many online merchants are now offering these products at drastic markups, ranging from three small bottles of hand sanitizer for $60…

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As Coronavirus Spreads, So Do Fake, Unapproved, and Ineffective Test Kits

LegitScript has been proactively monitoring the online space in response to the outbreak of the virus SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, and has identified an increasing trend in the marketing of coronavirus-related products that present an elevated risk to consumers, payment service providers, and e-commerce platforms. In particular, the severe shortage of diagnostic kits to test…

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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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