MANCHESTER, NH – In a warning released July 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has become aware of a scheme targeting those who have tried to order prescriptions online in which consumers receive fraudulent warning letters from the FDA instead of the drug products they ordered online or by phone.
The letters, which appear to come from the FDA and/or the Federal Trade Commission, claim the FDA has determined the recipient has committed a drug law violation based on an inspection of their drug shipment and their social media accounts. The letters also threaten recipients with a continued investigation and possible criminal charges. While the FDA does use letters to ensure compliance, those letters are not regularly sent to consumers themselves.
Any consumers who believe they may have received a fake warning letter should email FDAInternetPharmacyTaskForce-CDER@fda.hhs.gov with as much information as possible about the letter and its packaging, including sending photos or scanned documents to help aid in the FDA’s ongoing investigation of the scam.
You should also notify your local police department.
In addition to being the target of scams like these, consumers who buy medicines from illegal online pharmacies may be putting their health at risk. The products purchased from illegal online pharmacies, while marketed as authentic, may be counterfeit, contaminated, expired or otherwise unsafe. Consumers using illegal online pharmacies also run the risk of having their financial data exposed to cyber criminals.
To learn more, residents are encouraged to seek out the FDA’s BeSafeRx campaign, which educates consumers and health care professionals about the health risks of buying prescription medicine through fake online pharmacies and to help current and potential online pharmacy consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. The FDA also provides extensive information about making safe online purchases, which you can access by clicking here.