Scams Involving Ozempic And Wegovy Grow 183 Percent

( – Weight loss drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy have been booming in popularity. They need to be taken with a doctor’s supervision though, they are expensive, and sometimes they are sold out at pharmacies.

This has created a perfect window of opportunity for scammers. A recent report by McAfee found that phishing scams using these and other Semaglutide weight loss drugs as bait have increased 183% just between January and April. These scams are often found on social media platforms like Facebook, or online marketplaces like Craigslist.

Many of the scammers pose as doctors, pharmacists or other legitimate medical businesses. They claim they can offer the weight loss drugs without a prescription and often for deeply discounted prices. A sign a consumer may be interacting with a scammer is that they often ask for payment using unconventional alternative payment services. One such scammer set up a Facebook page under the name Doctor Melissa claiming to be located in Cananda. Doctor Melissa then asked for payments using bitcoin, Zelle, Venmo or Cash App.

In the 1980’s the weight loss industry accounted for up to $2 billion in profits, but it’s been steadily growing and in 2023 it was closer to $20 billion. According to the manufacturer Ozempic costs $935 a month, and Wegovy can run about $1,349. The high costs and the allure of a product that has been overwhelming heralded as a miracle drug can make people more vulnerable to scammers. While most scammers are just trying to make money, others may be harvesting your personal data for other criminal purposes. They also sometimes ship different substances than the weight loss drugs, such as a saline solution or insulin.

McAfee has offered some helpful tips for people to avoid being scammed. The first step is to not purchase prescription medications without a prescription. It is safer and medical supervision may be integral to taking these drugs safely. A mix of five-star and one-star reviews is also a red flag. It can indicate poor reviews hastily covered up with fake positive reviews.

Also be wary of deep discounts and nonstandard payment options. Scam sites will also often omit warnings of possible risks or side effects. If you have been conned, you can reach out to various government agencies or report the fraud to the host site. If you used your credit card, you may be able to dispute the charges.

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