The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is advising individuals who have tried to purchase medications online or by phone and subsequently received warning letters that appear to be from the FDA, that the letters are fake and are probably part of a scam. 

“[We] want to assure consumers that we generally don’t take action against individuals for purchasing a medicine online,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, “though we regularly take action against the owners and operators of illegal websites.”

Through its surveillance efforts, the Agency has found that individuals who have tried to purchase medications online or by phone have received “official-looking, but fake, warning letters” instead of the medications. The letters have included the following warning “we are still investigating the root of this delivery & necessary legal steps will be taken if we found [sic] out any suspicious activity on your end.” 

“Consumers who aren’t involved in manufacturing or distributing FDA regulated products should be on alert that if you get an FDA warning letter, it’s probably fake, and probably a scam,” said Gottlieb. He also warned of the dangers of buying medicines from illegal online pharmacies. “These risks range from receiving unapproved and potentially counterfeit medicines to unknowingly making themselves targets to scams like these,” he said in a statement.

The Agency is advising any members of the public who believe they have received one of these fake letters to email them at [email protected] 

For more information on illegal online pharmacies visit