183% increase in Ozempic and Wegovy scams this year

Scams targeting weight loss drugs like Ozempic have seen a significant increase, according to new research released by McAfee, a computer and cybersecurity company. These scams rose by 183% from January to April compared to the previous three months. Scammers are taking advantage of the high cost of drugs like Ozempic, which can be as much as $1,000 a month, to lure victims with cheap offers.

The scams primarily target consumers on social media sites like Facebook and online marketplaces like Craigslist. In one day in April alone, researchers found 207 phony postings advertising Ozempic. Scammers often pose as doctors, claiming to offer prescription drugs without a prescription and pressuring victims to use unconventional payment methods like Bitcoin, Zelle, Venmo, and Cash App.

Abhishek Karnik, head of McAfee's Threat Research Team, explained that cybercriminals are always looking for ways to make their scams more appealing and believable. By tapping into the popularity of weight loss drugs like Ozempic, scammers are able to lure victims through phishing emails, fake social media posts, and ads that seem too good to be true.

To avoid falling victim to these scams, McAfee recommends staying away from unofficial retailers, being cautious of suspiciously low prices and unusual payment methods, and checking for missing product details like expiration dates. Additionally, consumers should pay attention to the fine print on websites and be wary of poorly designed sites with grammar issues.

If you do become a victim of a scam, the Federal Trade Commission suggests reaching out to the company, bank, or credit card company involved in the money transfer to try and recover stolen funds. With the rise in phishing scams targeting weight loss drugs like Ozempic, it's important for consumers to be vigilant and skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true.


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