70 fictitious sales websites closed

70 fictitious sales websites closed


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The gendarmes have just deactivated nearly 70 sites that claimed to sell chloroquine to defraud Internet users.

© AFP / Gerard Julien
The Parisian

Among researchers, its usefulness has sparked heated debates. Miracle treatment against Covid-19 or risky treatment that requires more clinical trials, chloroquine seems in any case to give ideas to scammers. And they are trying to ride the hope of this drug promoted by Professor Didier Raoult. Since the Marseilles doctor praised the merits of this antimalarial in the fight against the coronavirus, the authorities have seen the flourishing on the Internet of numerous pages proposing to acquire chloroquine.

The gendarmes of the research section of Strasbourg (Bas-Rhin), at the forefront in the fight against cybercrime, have just put out of service 70 websites and blogs that claimed to sell the drug.

As part of monitoring work on the Internet, specialized investigators from the Strasbourg SR identified several suspicious sites a few days ago. Quickly, the results are dizzying. Dozens of sites recently created and hosted in France lure Internet users and automatically refer them to four sites registered abroad: canadian-pharmacy24.com; eu-medstore.com; my-european-strore.com; big-pharmacy.com (beware, these sites are still active and host scams).

Empty shells, “pure scams,” said a source close to the investigation. These sites do not sell chloroquine, but hope to take advantage of people’s fear. ” Digital chloroquine tablets were sold for around 1 euro each, compared to just over 4 euros per pack of 30 tablets in pharmacies in France.

More worrying than these sites built from scratch, the gendarmes discovered that dozens of completely legal web pages hosted in France by the Eklablog or Overblog platforms, have also been hacked by hackers and refer to the same merchants. ghosts. “By usurping real French sites, hackers managed to obtain a very high ranking by Google, said a source close to the investigation. They took advantage of the credulity of Internet users who thought they were surfing on serious sites put forward by their search engine. “

No complaints collected yet

In a few weeks, according to the investigators, at least 43,000 people – mainly based in France and Italy – had visited the 70 web pages deleted by the gendarmes “with the help of the two French platforms which played perfectly game and were very responsive. ”

Difficult, however, at this stage of the investigation, to know the damage caused by all these sites. The gendarmes did not in fact receive any complaints. “We undoubtedly have shameful victims, confides the same source. Already they have been scammed on the Internet, and most of all they have tried to buy drugs illegally. ”

In the event of a complaint, nothing says as far as the investigators will manage to go up to the crooks, whose sites are hosted in Russia or in China. “It is especially important to be careful not to fall into the traps of scammers who have not quit their business despite the deletion of many pages,” said a specialist gendarme. Typing “inexpensive chloroquine” on Google confirms this: the first result refers to … the pirated site of a real estate agency which propels the internet user to a scam.

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