We’ll be discussing online pharmacy safety quite a bit on this blog. For starters, here are four of the biggest warning signs that you are dealing with a rogue pharmacy.

1. ePharmacies.com. Rogue online pharmacies generally do not require you to see a doctor to get a prescription. They advertise “Epharmacy!” or say they will provide a complimentary online consultation with a physician — which usually simply entails you filling out a brief form.

2. You can’t find an address on their site. Many sites claiming to be licensed Canadian pharmacies are actually based in third-world countries in Asia and Africa. They sometimes even put a fake government seal on their sites! If you can’t find an actual address, that’s a good clue that you’re being scammed.

3. They only offer the most popular drugs. If the Web site only offers Viagra, weight-loss drugs and painkillers, you’re not dealing with a real pharmacy — and who knows what, if anything, you’ll receive in the mail if you place an order.

4. They spam your inbox. Did you know that “Canadian pharmacies” is one of the most frequently used subject lines in spam e-mails? NO legitimate pharmacy sends out these kinds of e-mails. Do not respond to them under any circumstances.

If you come upon any of these business practices, do not make a purchase! In fact, we encourage you to leave the Web site immediately — or you might just end up with a nasty virus on your PC.