Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Why You Shouldn't Buy from Spammers

Aside from the obvious ("because it only encourages them"), the U.S. Food And Drug Administration offers another, more worrying reason:

A number of Americans who placed orders for specific drug products over the Internet (Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro, and Ativan), instead received a product that ... can cause muscle stiffness and spasms, agitation, and sedation ... Preliminary analysis indicates they contain haloperidol, the active ingredient in a prescription drug used primarily to treat schizophrenia.

Ouch. No surprise here: spammers are Bad People. Lest we forget, spam isn't merely an productivity-sucking irritant.

I'm indebted to the FDA for providing the following photos and captions. More at the FDA site.

Back photo of yellow Haloperidol with “H 2” imprinted on the tablet.
Back photo of yellow Haloperidol with “H 2” imprinted on the tablet.

Front photo of yellow Haloperidol with “Janssen” imprinted on the tablet
Front photo of yellow Haloperidol with “Janssen” imprinted on the tablet

Plastic bag containing yellow Haloperidol tablets as received by consumers
Plastic bag containing yellow Haloperidol tablets as received by consumers

Mailing envelope in which tablets were shipped to consumers
Mailing envelope in which tablets were shipped to consumers

Mailing envelope in which tablets were shipped to consumers
Mailing envelope in which tablets were shipped; yellow tablets, and the clear plastic bag in which they were contained. The ruler was placed for size comparison purposes

Mailing envelope in which the tablets were shipped to consumers. The ruler was placed for size comparison purposes.
Mailing envelope in which the tablets were shipped to consumers. The ruler was placed for size comparison purposes.

White haloperidol in blister pack
White Haloperidol in blister pack

Yellow Haloperidol in blister pack
Yellow Haloperidol in blister pack

2 comments:

Chris Byrd said...

So why would they (the spammers) ship anything at all? Once the payment information was received, I would think that they'd get everything they could off of the card, and move on. I would think that shipping pills only opens them up to more risk, without any return.

Richi Jennings said...

Chris, usually the spammers aren't the same people as those running the shady websites. Spammers offer an advertising service to the pill pushers, for which they're often paid a commission on each sale.

The spam economy has its own lexicon, which seeks to make this dirty business sound more legitimate than it is. Spammers call the advertisers their "sponsors". And advertisers call the spammers their "affiliates".

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