Bedford Police Department
John J. Bryfonski, Chief of Police
55 Constitution Drive
Bedford, NH 03110
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Bedford Police Warn of Scam Involving Fraudulent FDA Warning Letters
BEDFORD, N.H. — Chief John J. Bryfonski and the Bedford Police Department would like to alert residents to a growing scam in which criminals target people who have tried to purchase medicines online or over the phone.
In a warning released Friday, July 13, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it has become aware of a scheme 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.
Bedford residents are also asked to notify Bedford Police if they receive such a letter. The Bedford Police Department has not yet received any reports regarding this scam.
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.
“Residents should take extreme care when purchasing medications online, and ensure that they’re only ever obtaining medicine from legitimate sources,” Chief Bryfonski said. “I hope everyone will take caution, both when purchasing their medication and when evaluating the legitimacy of official-looking correspondence.”
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.