The international police organisation Interpol has warned the public against criminals selling fake swine flu drugs through spam emails and websites selling illegal, unlicensed or fake medicines.
Interpol has warned that unlicensed and illegal internet pharmacies pose a serious health risk because they take orders and payments with no assurance that the goods delivered are safe, effective or of proper quality.
Transactions using unregulated sites also greatly increase the risk of cybercriminals stealing an individual’s credit card details and users’ computers being infected with password stealing viruses, Interpol added.
Jean-Michel Louboutin, Interpol’s executive director of police services, said: ‘It has been seen time and time again that following a global threat or natural disaster, criminals exploit the situation for their own financial gain and in this situation they are searching to take advantage of people’s fears about their health.
‘By responding to spam swine flu emails or attempting to order medication online through illegal and unregulated websites, people are risking their wellbeing and their money.
‘Any unsolicited emails containing deals or links to websites offering swine flu-related information packs or medicines should be treated with extreme caution,’ added Mr Louboutin.