While there are many different types of fraud, the opioid crisis in the United States is causing increased cases of prescription fraud. Reuters reports that nearly 60 people in Texas currently face charges stemming from this type of crime, with other instances increasing across the U.S.
Because there are several different types of prescription fraud, understanding some of the most common examples may help you protect yourself during a time when some may try to take advantage of fear and uncertainty.
False cures and treatments
Some individuals use placebos, such as coated sugar pills or altered over-the-counter pain medications, and offer them as cures or treatments for certain illnesses, like the flu. These treatments are usually offered over text or email messages and to a limited number of individuals, for an elevated price. You can reduce this type of fraud by reporting these messages to your email service provider or the local authorities.
Impersonation of a medical provider
One type of common prescription fraud involves individuals who impersonate doctors and other medical providers as a way to gain access to painkillers and other medications. They may represent themselves as someone from your doctor’s office and make inquiries about medications you take currently, especially prescription painkillers. It is wise to refrain from disclosing any of this information over the phone unless you are certain of the caller’s identity, particularly if you do not recognize the number on caller ID.
Those who commit prescription fraud often prey upon people’s fears and desire to stay well in the face of a variety of dangerous illnesses. Remaining aware of some common scams may help you protect yourself from fraud.