Fake Online Pharmacies
Canadian pharmacy spam is a real and persistent issue. Many people receive unsolicited emails and calls on a daily basis. But who exactly is responsible for that incessant outreach?
Often times, legitimate Canadian mail order companies have the blame placed on themâ€”our pharmacy being one of them. However, more than often, this isn't the case. Keep reading to learn more about spotting the differences between real and fake online pharmacies, and how to find trusted sites.
Who's Actually Responsible for Canadian Pharmacy Email Spam?
Chances are, you've received at least one unsolicited email about cheap Viagra or other such erectile dysfunction medications from a pharmacy claiming to be based in Canada. More often than not, you likely receive several unsolicited emails and phone calls a day from "Canadian pharmacies".
However, the reality is, these "pharmacies" aren't legitimate, established businesses. Rather, according to NetworkWorld, "about 83% of all spam today is generated by specialized botnets."
For those who aren't familiar with the term, a botnet, as noted in TGDaily's article, "is a group of internet-connected devices that have been hijacked and infected with malware in order to allow them to be controlled remotely."
Glavmed, a company based in Russia, is one of the most notorious and well-known operations that's partly responsible for the Canadian Pharmacy spam email campaigns. As pointed out in Slate.com's article, the company is also associated with SpamIt, another operation responsible for spam emails.
According to Brian Krebs, a well-renowned American Journalist and author of Spam Nation, "if you received an unsolicited email in the past few years promoting male enhancement or erectile dysfunction pills, chances are that it was generated by [the SpamIT or Glavmed spam campaigns]."
In addition to this, as noted in an article by IT Business, Canadian Pharmacy is one of the more successful email scams out there. Glavmed was largely responsible for this spam. However, there are many other companies like it that run similar spam operations using botnetsâ€” Rx-Promotion is one such example.
Unfortunately, these companies are very convincing and appear to be legitimate Canadian mail order pharmacies. According to IT Business, "Canadian pharmacies with similar domain names to the spammers include canadapharmacy.com."
Often times, those who receive spam emails from these companies are at a loss for how to stop receiving them. Unfortunately, this is because spammers use "thousands of randomly registered domains and constantly shifting spam message techniques" to continuously flood inboxes.
Of course, this poses a real problem for legitimate businesses with similar names. However, canadapharmacy.com is accredited by the Canadian International Pharmacy Association, a Canadian organization that's overseen by the government of Canada.
Real businesses accredited by CIPA, like Canada Pharmacy, must only sell legitimate medications and absolutely cannot spam customers per Canada's anti-spam law CASL. If these companies begin to employ shady practices, they jeopardize their ability to continue operating their businesses.
With this in mind, victims of Canadian Pharmacy spam often mistake Canada Pharmacy and other similarly named businesses as the perpetrators. However, legitimate CIPA-certified pharmacies cannot spam customers with calls and emails.
Furthermore, because these companies are Canadian, customers must voluntarily give permission to these pharmacies to email or call them. As such, these businesses cannot purchase or illegally acquire customers' contact information. In addition to this, if a person requests to be taken off a phone or email list, the company must comply immediately.
What Can Be Done to Stop Receiving Spam?
Any victim of spam would know that it's hard to get rid of. However, there are some things that can be done.
1. Adjust your spam filters
While you can block a sender, it's pointless when it comes to Canadian Pharmacy spam. Instead, set up a filter that blocks emails based on subject or specific keywords. So, if you often receive emails about Viagra, Cialis, or other drugs, filter out those emails based on the drug's name. In this way, if any email containing those words is sent to you, it will automatically be delivered to your spam folder and consequently deleted.
Be sure to check with your email service provider on how to go about doing this.
2. Get a new email address
As mentioned before, fake pharmacies are able to flood inboxes with spam because they have many different registered domains. In this way, adding a sender to a block list wouldn't do much to stop receiving spam as it would only come from another domain.
If you've tried the first tip to no avail, the best chance you have at ditching the spam is by getting a new email address. In this way, your new email address won't be on any of the spammers' mailing lists.
To avoid getting spammed on your new email address, be careful not to fill out forms or give our your email address on questionable sites.
3. Register on the National Do Not Call Registry
One way to reduce the number of robocalls/spam calls, or avoid them altogether, is by signing up on the National Do Not Call Registry. You can register both your home and mobile number for free. You even have the ability to report numbers to the Federal Trade Commission through their website.
It's important to note that the registry isn't fool-proof. As note in Boston Globe's article, spammers often call from overseas, thereby giving them little incentive to adhere to American spam laws. However, registering your number(s) on the list can still help in offering some relief.
How Can You Find Real Canadian Online Pharmacies and Avoid Fake Ones?
There are definitely good reasons to order medicine from Canada. However, spotting fake online pharmacies can be tricky. Having said this, it is feasible if you know what to look for.
If you're planning on purchasing medications online, follow these 4 tips to pick reputable Canadian online pharmacies.
Remember, the best way to stop spam is to avoid it in the first place. So, always be vigilant when browsing or shopping online. Never provide your contact and credit information without first checking a website's validity.
`Canadian Pharmacy` spam is very convincing and appears to come from legitimate websites. However, keep in mind that real Canadian businesses are governed and must adhere to strict laws to stay in operation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The above information is intended to increase awareness of health information and does not suggest treatment or diagnosis. This information is not a substitute for individual medical attention and should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. See your health care professional for medical advice and treatment.