Agencies Warn of Cipro Scams

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Federal agencies are investigating allegations of phony Web and e-mail offers for Cipro, the antibiotic approved by U.S. authorities to treat anthrax.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration issued warnings to consumers to beware of online offers of medicine to treat biological attacks. Scam artists are playing on fears generated by recent anthrax infections to deceive consumers out of their money through the use of e-mail solicitations and online advertising, the agencies said.

The FTC urged consumers to consult with a health professional before using any medications and ensure the reliability of any online drug vendors before making a purchase. Consumers also should avoid buying medications from foreign Web sites because importation of drugs is illegal and the risk of losing money to a scam is greater.

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