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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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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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Romance Scams: A Dangerous Undertow Sweeping Across the Sea of Love

In this digital age, an ever-increasing number of people are seeking love and companionship by venturing into online dating websites, mobile apps, online classified listings, and social media platforms. Unfortunately, the cyber world is also fraught with opportunistic criminals who are looking to prey on the heartstrings of hopeful victims.  The Federal Trade Commission recently…

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How to Spot Donation Scams Related to COVID-19

In the midst of a natural disaster or other large crisis, scammers inevitably take advantage of the spike in public goodwill and the influx of genuine fundraising and charity websites. LegitScript has observed this to be true in the midst of the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These scammers may pose as…

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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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Today’s Multilevel Marketing: New Look, Same Risk for Payment Service Providers

Today’s multilevel marketing (MLM) organizations look nothing like the Amway and Herbalife of the past. Cosmetics and nutritional supplements may still dominate the industry, but companies have expanded into product lines of every sort: essential oils, kitchen gadgets, yoga pants, software, consulting, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. This product expansion, combined with…

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Drop-shipping Clusters Pose an Elevated Fraud Risk

If you’ve read our Drop-shipping FAQ Guide, you know that drop-shipping merchants pose an elevated risk because of increased chargebacks and the potential for transaction laundering. But are you aware of drop-shipping clusters and the increased likelihood they are engaged in fraud? Learn about this danger that may be in your portfolio, hiding in plain…

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The Top High-risk Payments Trends for 2019

The constantly changing landscape of online payments can be difficult for payment facilitators to keep up with. This year, technological advancements, criminal innovation, and shifting consumer interests shifted the types of problematic merchants most likely to pop up in portfolios. LegitScript tracked the data this year to identify which merchants may cause payment facilitators the…

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