Federal government seizes sites masquerading as Walmart webpages to sell bogus COVID-19 remedies

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The US Department of Justice seized two internet domains that were allegedly created to look like Walmart WMT,
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Web pages selling a number of unapproved and experimental drugs to fight Covid-19, prosecutors said.

Department of Homeland Security investigators believe the sites, which appear to have been registered from Russia in 2019, were secretly being used to steal clients’ personal information, prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maryland have said.

The slots – http://pharmacywalmart.com/ and https://en.pharmacywalmart.com/buy-stromectol-usa.html – featured the Walmart logos and were designed to appear as official Walmart web pages, even though Walmart does not operate an online pharmacy.

A message sent to Walmart requesting comment was not immediately returned.

Visitors to the sites will now see banners stating that they were seized under a warrant issued by a US district court.

“By seizing the sites, the government has prevented third parties from acquiring the names and using them to commit other crimes, as well as from continuing to access the sites in their current form,” said the United States Attorney for Maryland in a statement. declaration.

Investigators say it is not clear who actually operated the sites. A phone number listed on the sites had an area code in Brooklyn, NY, but the way the number was written was not a typical format for US numbers; instead, it followed a format used in Europe.

A person who answered the phone at the number listed in the court documents said they represent a customer support call center in London for many online pharmacy companies that sell drugs made and shipped online from there. ‘India. He said that although the center provided customer support for the two sites in question, he did not know who they belonged to and could not answer any questions about them.

The seizures marked the 12th and 13th sites that the prosecutor’s office took command of for offering unapproved Covid-19 treatments.

Both sites offered pills for sale, including the antimalarial drug chloroquine, the anti-HIV drug Kaltera and ivermectin, which is used to treat certain parasitic infections, touting them as possible treatments for the coronavirus. None of the drugs are approved for the treatment of Covid-19.

Chloroquine became a sought-after home remedy for Covid-19 for some people last year after then-President Donald Trump promoted it as a possible cure for the coronavirus. The FDA revoked an emergency use authorization it had issued for chloroquine in June 2020.

The sites claimed that: “In 2020, after laboratory research [Sic], it was discovered that Kaletra shows positive results in blocking a COVID-19 viral replication, ”according to an affidavit filed by investigators. No clinical trials or the FDA have supported the use of Kaletra to treat Covid-19.


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