Sunday, March 9, 2014

Be Wary of Online Deals for Over-the-Counter Drugs

Sounds like a great online deal - over the counter drugs at deeply discounted prices. But buying those pills might be dangerous to your health.

Pepcid... Tylenol... Advil... these piles of pill boxes look like they belong in the stock room of your local drug store.

In reality all of these over the counter drugs were stolen in an elaborate shoplifting ring.

David Arminio, US Postal Inspector, said, "Shop lifters will go into stores. They will steal the product. Ultimately they will sell it to a middle man..."

That person will then try to sell the product online. Sometimes for 30-percent less than retail stores.

But this is a crime that poses a real physical danger.

"A lot of these products have temperature requirements, they have to be stored within a certain degree, when they are stolen they are either stored in big warehouses, cars in hot weather," explained Arminio.

Postal inspectors say the criminals involved in these schemes are focused on money-- not temperatures or expiration dates.

"If someone consumes a product that is possibly spoiled they can get sick and one of our main concerns was a lot of products in this scheme were baby formula," said Arminio.

Some advice--be wary of Deal Now with price tags far below typical market value.

"When it is that much cheaper than the store, you kind of have to wonder 'where is that product from?' No one has more buying power than the National Retail chain," Arminio said.

The suspect in this case were discovered from leads provided by some retail stores and then developed with undercover purchases made by postal inspectors.

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