According to a report by Newsweek, the growing popularity of weight loss drugs has come with unintended consequences — scams:

“Phishing attempts involving popular GLP-1 drugs—like Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro—were up 183 percent in the first four months of 2024 compared to the final three months of 2023, according to new research from the online protection company McAfee.

“McAfee researchers uncovered 449 risky website URLs and 176,871 dangerous email phishing attempts. The company estimates that in the past few months, weight-loss drug scammers have made millions of dollars through the instant messaging platform Telegram alone.

“The fraudulent sale schemes can take many forms. On Facebook Marketplace, scammers use fake profiles to offer up their ‘extra’ GLP-1 supply or ‘substitutes’ from overseas that don’t require prescriptions. During a 24-hour observation in April, McAfee researchers found 207 Ozempic scam posts on Craigslist.

“Swindlers can be found posing as doctors on social media platforms, promising to provide Mounjaro without a prescription—so long as patients can pay through Zelle, Venmo, CashApp or Bitcoin. One fake website offered a 15 percent discount to anyone paying with cryptocurrency.

“Requests for unconventional payment methods should always raise red flags, according to McAfee. But scams aren’t always easy to spot, as many fraudulent campaigns are using advanced AI to appear credible.

“Plus, consumers are eager to get their hands on the popular drugs, which celebrities have touted for their weight-loss benefits. Although Ozempic has become synonymous with slimness, the FDA has only approved it as a treatment for type 2 diabetes. While some physicians prescribe Ozempic off-label, only three GLP-1s have been green-lighted by the FDA for weight management: Saxenda, Wegovy and Zepbound.”

To read the entire article by Newsweek, please click HERE.