Two researchers at the University of Toronto, Dr.Alejandro Jadad and Peter Gernburd did a research on the authenticity of spam mail, that advertises drugs. They set up 3 e-mail accounts and monitored the spam being sent to them.
In one month the accounts were sent 4,153 spam messages (82% of the total amount of mail). 32% of the spam mail was Health-related.
The researchers tried buying 27 products using a special low credit card. They only managed to buy 9 products : 5 prescription drugs (erectile dysfunction drugs and anti-anxiety medication), the remaining were natural health products such as weight management medication and drugs for penile enlargement.
The credit card was charged only for the products that went through, but effectiveness of the drugs remains in question.
“These could be fake. These could be real. These could be adulterated. We don't know,” Jadad said.
According to Jadad, the authenticity of the drugs (which is currently being tested) is really not the biggest problem, beceuse even if they are real this time that they purchased them, they might not be the other time around. They won‘t necessarilly be detrimental to one‘s health but might well be ineffective and if they are, there will probably be no way of getting the money back or catch the perpetrators, since only 58% of the active links were still viable a week after the purchase. The number is becoming less with every passing day.
The amount of spam shows that there are actually people who believe these messages and that is why the knowledge of the fallacious nature of spam should not be discarded as known to everyone.