Meet the Spammers #1: Pills and Porno

I was recently asked by a journalist, "So who are these spammers, anyway?" There are many different types of spammer. This is the first in a series of bulletins describing them.

Many spammers are affiliates of vendors of products that can cause embarrassment. These are the sort of product or services that you might not wish to go into a store to buy. In the case of prescription drugs, you may not wish to talk to your doctor about why you want them prescribed.

Such spammers get paid by commission on sales. Some of the products may be genuine; many are fake or of dubious quality. As the FDA demonstrated earlier this year, fake prescription drugs bought from spam can be lethal:

A number of Americans who placed orders for specific drug products over the Internet (Ambien, Xanax, Lexapro, and Ativan), instead received a product that ... can cause muscle stiffness and spasms, agitation, and sedation ... Preliminary analysis indicates they contain haloperidol, the active ingredient in a prescription drug used primarily to treat schizophrenia.

Ouch. No surprise here: Spammers are Bad People. Lest we forget, spam isn't merely a productivity-sucking irritant. Buying from spam not only encourages the spammers, but can seriously damage your health.

... Richi Jennings

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