Fraud in the pharmaceutical industry remains a major challenge - and it may have become worse during COVID-19. Observers have predicted that health care fraud recoveries this year will be higher than average due to misconduct during the pandemic.

pharmacy scams

The scam story 

Two people who claimed to be pharmaceutical suppliers scammed a pharmacist from Pune out of *10 lakh. In this case, the Pune police are seeking a man and a woman. Police sub-inspector VM Deshmukh, who is investigating the case, said that the complainant owns a business and has a shop.

Shashikant Fand (43), a resident of Sus road area in Pashan who owns a business in Appa Balwant Chowk, Budhwar Peth, filed a complaint in the matter. *10, 52,800 was paid by the complainant to the woman-man duo who promised to supply him with medicines in December 2019. Both, however, did not supply medicine and are suspected of using the money for personal gain.

Later, the woman among the two transferred $52,800 to the man's account, but they have not returned the money since then. Thus, the police have registered a case against the two and are on the lookout for them.

Vishrambaug police station registered a case under Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

Risk might continue

Pharmaceutical manufacturers are on track for recovery in 2021 despite having experienced one of the most chaotic years in history. Even though consumer confidence has recovered and the end of the pandemic is in sight, the pharmaceutical industry still faces significant risks.

Consumer confidence is on the rise, but it is still nowhere near normal levels as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The end of the year will bring a number of major risks for companies in this sector

How to avoid such scams?

  1. Be sure to verify the caller's details before providing him with any personal information. Authentic companies and banks will never ask for your sensitive information.
  2. Do not divulge your personal information to anyone over the phone. In no case will a bank or a reputed company ask for your personal information like your card number, CVV, or OTP over the phone.

    Always do a thorough search about a company before buying. Read reviews about the company. Avoid buying from a company with poor ratings or no ratings at all.
  3. If the seller insists on requiring advance payment, it is wise not to make one. Paying the advance will result in them running away. There is a possibility that the seller may block your number after receiving your payment.
  4. It is recommended that digital escrow platforms be used for payment. When making an online payment with Escrow, you do not share your financial information with anyone. There is a platform for escrow called Vouch

How does digital escrow work?

In digital escrow, a third-party account holds the money deposited by the buyer until the seller fulfills the terms of the contract. The escrow company supervises the transacting parties.

What is the role of Digital Escrow in preventing online fraud in India? 

Digital escrow services are offered by many companies in India. Among the most trusted is Vouch.

Vouch’s Digital Escrow service is a transparent way for buyers and sellers to build trust and secure a clean transfer of product and payment. Sellers can feel assured that they will be fairly compensated promptly, and buyers will feel confident that their order will be delivered as expected and on schedule. Vouch Digital Escrow keeps you updated and informed at every step of the transaction process till the end. Vouch’s professionals are always available to assist you with all queries that you may have during the entire transaction process. 

There is no scope for deceit or fraud since the payments, shipping, delivery, and execution are carried out under the honest and watchful eyes of the Vouch’s professionals. With Vouch, any business transaction becomes transparent, uncomplicated, and hassle-free. If you ever come across a fraudster asking for OTP, asking you to scan a QR code, or asking you to click on phishing links, you can simply refuse and ask him/her to proceed with the transaction through Vouch.​

This is Fraud Story #156. Check back here for more fraud stories and scams that you can protect yourself from.

​Safety is not just about protecting your credit, debit card number, and UPI accounts. It's about having control of your money till you've received the product or service you bought online!

Note: This is a good-faith initiative to educate the world about avoiding frauds like these and how to act when you're becoming a victim of such a situation. 

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