Fake Online Pharmacies Fool Users into Downloading Malware

Why go out to the shops when you can do all of your shopping from the comfort of your own home? All you need is a computer and an Internet connection and you can have products delivered to your door. Unsurprisingly, the ease of buying products online has meant many Internet-connected households order in a lot of products from online stores. Fake online stores catch out many unwary Internet shoppers, and now a number of fake online pharmacies have been identified. Criminals know consumers want cheap drugs.

Fake online pharmacies catch out many online shoppers

There are many legitimate online stores offering great deals on products. Without the expense of maintaining a brick and mortar store and employing numerous members of staff to run it, retailers are able to pass on their cost savings on to customers.

According to research conducted by The Nielsen Company, Internet purchases have been made by 85% of individuals who have an Internet connection at home or work. Internet sales are booming, and over the next few years the volume of purchases made online is only likely to increase.

Internet surfers must be able to find online stores in order to make purchases. Retailers therefore spend a lot of money on website advertising. Advertising on popular websites that attract high traffic costs a lot of money, yet there are cheaper alternatives. Small blogs, Internet forums, and social media sites offer a cheaper option for promoting online stores. They also tend to have less restrictive criteria and do not vet advertisers so thoroughly.

Online criminals have realized they are able to get adverts to their fake stores accepted by ad networks and the above sites. One of the largest growing scams is fake online pharmacies. The high cost of pharmaceutical products has driven many consumers to find discounts online. Pharma products are essentials, and there are considerable savings to be made from buying online. There are many legitimate online discount pharmacies, but there are also an increasing number of fake online pharmacies on the Internet.

Fake online pharmacies carry a health risk and a network security risk

Many fake online pharmacies actually sell drugs, but often they have been secured from overseas. Expiry dates are fast approaching, and many drugs are sold that have not received FDA approval. Many of these do not list the risks associated with the products as would be required in order to receive FDA approval. The risk of individuals coming to harm is therefore considerable.

Many of these fake online pharmacies don’t actually ship any drugs. They are phishing sites used by cybercriminals to obtain the credit card details of consumers. Many of these sites are also used to infect visitors’ devices with malware. Not only can bargain hunters’ health be affected, these fake online stores pose a serious security risk.

Many consumers do not have Internet access at home, but they do at work. Employees spend some of their working day making online purchases and searching for online discounts. Employers that fail to monitor and control access to these websites could be placing their networks at risk.

Fortunately, fake online pharmacies and other bogus and dangerous websites can be easily identified and blocked. Provided of course that the correct software is installed. Companies that implement a web filtering solution are able to block employees from visiting the majority of these dangerous websites. Online adverts can also be easily blocked to prevent employees for falling for phishing scams or downloading malware.

Fail to implement a web filtering solution and your employees may not only be placing their health in jeopardy, they may also inadvertently compromise your network!

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Reddit Copy link Link copied to clipboard
Photo of author

Posted by

Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is a news writer on Defensorum. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked on many publications for several years. Elizabeth writers about compliance and the related areas of IT security breaches. Elizabeth's has focus on data privacy and secure handling of personal information. Elizabeth has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAAZone. https://twitter.com/ElizabethHzone