Illegal Pharmacies Targeting Children over Youtube, Facebook

The president of the UN's International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) has said that online pharmacies have been targeting young people on sites like Youtube and Facebook.

While it might sound like a "think of the children" scare mongering story, there is a bit of truth to this one. With the growth of advertising on social networks, illegal pharmacies have found their way into the networks, publicising what is often counterfeit medications. However it's far more covert than it has been in the past, with promises of weight loss or muscle gain leading to an online pharmacy.

The INCB report says that because young people are often at the forefront of online trends and social networks being largely made up of people in their teens and twenties, they are being targeted the most by these adverts.

There are also attempts that are more akin to email phishing, where questions and comments being left on videos and images with an innocuous link leading to a pharmacy. This is a traditional method for spreading Facebook distributed viruses as well, so always be careful clicking a link when its placement isn't quite right.

"In a very sophisticated way, they are getting the right question on to YouTube, on to Facebook, and even chatting in the chatrooms, they get engaged, and then bombard them with drugs," said the INCB president, Professor Hamid Ghodse.

Source: Telegraph