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FDA warns of fake gov't warning letters sent to consumers

The FDA warns of fake letters sent to consumers who tried to buy drugs online or by phone; it may be part of a scam to get money. (Source: Raycom Media) The FDA warns of fake letters sent to consumers who tried to buy drugs online or by phone; it may be part of a scam to get money. (Source: Raycom Media)

By MATTHEW PERRONE
AP Health Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. health authorities are alerting consumers to a new scam involving fake government warning letters sent to people who tried to buy medicines online or over the phone.

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday that the fake letters may be part of an extortion scam. However, authorities have not yet documented cases of consumers being coerced to turn over money.

The forged letters claim to be from the FDA or the Federal Trade Commission, but those agencies almost never issue such warnings to private individuals, but rather to companies, professionals or industry officials. The letters falsely claim that the government is investigating the drugs the consumers attempted to purchase.

FDA officials have repeatedly warned about the risks of buying medicines through unverified online pharmacies.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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