The credit card industry partnered with Interpol and other global law enforcement officials during the month of October to help curtail the spread of unlicensed online pharmacies. Led by IMPACT, the International Medical Products Anti-Counterfeiting Taskforce, "Operation Pangea III" coordinated the efforts of investigators and banking regulators in over forty countries. The unprecedented international alliance made Operation Pangea III the largest-ever campaign against potentially fraudulent pharmacy websites.

Critics of online pharmacies charge website operators with using bait-and-switch tactics to lure consumers into spending money for counterfeit versions of popular prescription medications. Overseas operations often use false identities to set up credit card processing accounts, with cash withdrawn and offices moved before customers start requesting refunds. Officials from Visa and other payment platform providers participating in the investigation reminded credit card processors to carefully review the terms of their agreements, or risk losing the privilege of managing transactions on behalf of their legitimate merchant clients.

About the Author


Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.