| Judging by its choice of registrars, registrant names and other factors, Toronto Pharmacy is Leo Kuvayev's piece of work.
It is an operation running in tandem with his Downloadable Software. In fact, both Toronto Pharmacy and Downloadable Software operations temporarily went offline, all 300 sites, on the same day (February 27th, 2007).
It is possible that Toronto Pharmacy is a knock-off or copy-cat scam designed to match rival spammer Alex Polyakov's "Canadian" pharmacy - My Canadian Pharmacy. But it would be a pale imitation by comparison, given the complexity of the rival's site.
The trailer on the web page shows fake links supposedly to Pharmacy Checker and CIPA. These are in an effort to appear as an official, bona fide business. But none of the links are genuine.
Until the end of February 2007, Toronto Pharmacy used name servers registered with registrar Capital Networks (PacNames).
With the loss of support of PacNames, registrations switched to Beijing Innovative Linkage Technology for name servers. The registrant was jiang xi nan change, at email@example.com. Note that canadian-rxx.net is an Alex Polyakov site for My Canadian Pharmacy.
Typical name server previously was moisharx.com under which Toronto Pharmacy sites were registered. More recently the name server was kozel-soft.com.
Despite the name "Toronto Pharmacy," and the use of domain names like "us-pharmacy20436.[xxx]" and "uk325pharmacy.[xxx]," this operation seems to have little to do with the US, UK, or Canada. The website lists the following address:
015 Yonge Street at York Mills,
Toronto, ON, M4Y 2X9
You won't find that address on a map, because 15 Yonge St. isn't in that postal code. On another page of the site, they report, "We are located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We do not have a representative clients office, thus we do not give our exact location." So this address is merely a clever ruse to throw off people who want to fill their prescriptions in person, apparently. And just to really fool them, their fake Pharmacy Checker certification page includes the same address and lists hours of operation, 9:00am to 6:00pm EST.
You can see the license is a fraud, because when photo-shopping it they slipped up twice with the spelling, something you would never see on a valid license.
The website is hosted in China, and their orders are processed by secure.sitesgate.com, a company in Latvia. They themselves report that all their medications are manufactured in India. Calling the phone number audibly forwards to another number on a connection with more static and which gives a recorded message. That recording asks you to leave a message or email them at epharmacy.com, which is an inactive domain with no functioning mailservers. And a look at the fractured English on their FAQ page will raise the question of why they couldn't find anyone in Toronto with enough English skills to do some copy editing for them.
The site includes the following statement:
It's no secret there are hundreds of fly-by-night, unrelgulated [sic] internet pharmacies out there who put their
customers at risk through unethical and irresponsible practices. Toronto Pharmacy online drugstore is different.
We have a spotless patient safety record and customer safety is our number one priority. Our business has always
operated in full compliance of the law, thus you can be assured that Toronto Pharmacy is here to stay.
* We do not provide access to controlled, habit forming substances. * We do not provide access to prescription drugs without confirmation from a physician. * Our staff can also contact the doctor's office to verify the contents of each prescription before it is filled. * We do not ship a medication if it is prohibited in the destination country or we are unsure about its status there. * As an added safety measure, our physicians review customer's medical history to identify potential complications.
Our doctors will then write a new prescription for the patients' preferred brand or generic medication.
Point by point:
- They claim they are not "fly by night" or unregulated: This message was displayed on a domain that was registered only two days before it was promoted in spam emails, and as noted above, regulators would have a bit of difficulty finding them if they used the address on the website. How much more fly by night can you get?
- "Spotless patient safety record:" Given that Toronto Pharmacy uses a large number of changing domain names, how would any problems get reported back to them? That's presuming anyone ever receives anything after ordering, which is a big assumption with spamvertised pharmacies.
- "full compliance with the law:" Laws of which country? Not Canada or the US, which do not permit counterfeit generic versions of drugs that are still under patent protection.
- "here to stay:" If one tries just the first few domains in an alphabetical list of over 100 different domain names for Toronto Pharmacy compiled in September 2006, every single one of the first ten domains listed has been shut down.
- no "controlled, habit forming substances:" Valium and Xanax and their generic counterparts are very much controlled in the US, and are quite habit forming, with possible seizures if a person taking them for a long period stops suddenly (or buys bogus pills and ends up not taking any active medication). Links for ordering them are prominently displayed on all pages of the website.
- no access to prescription drugs without confirmation from a physician: Attempting to order prescription medications quickly transfers you away from the Toronto Pharmacy site and right to their payment processing site, even if you say you are in the US and report that you have no prescription.
- "We do not ship a medication if it is prohibited in the destination country:" Again, counterfeit generic versions of drugs like Viagra and Cialis which are still under patent are illegal in the US, but there is no attempt to stop a US resident from ordering them.
- "As an added safety measure, our physicians review customer's medical history to identify potential complications:" That would be difficult without asking any medical history. There are no questions about which other medications a person is taking, which other medical conditions that person has, or even which gender he/she is. But that is for the best, since the pharmacy site itself does not have encryption, anyway; only the payment processing company does. You shouldn't be sending your medical history around the internet unencrypted. It's bad enough anyone can see which drugs you are ordering.
At the bottom of each page are images for Pharmacy Checker and the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Someone has typed the name "torontopharmacy.com" on the Pharmacy Checker logo and typed "Status: active" under the CIPA logo. Both logos link to bogus pages on the same domain as the rest of the site, despite the use of titles in the html code that cause "PharmacyChecker.com" or "CIPA Seal Verification" to display at the top of the webpages. (Had these been legitimate seals, the links would have led away from the pharmacy site to the sites of the certifying agencies.) The CIPA page makes the same error as My Canadian Pharmacy sites in including a "licence" number, when CIPA does not issue licenses. And they've given themselves the top rating on the fake Pharmacy Checker page -- hey, why not? And no, torontopharmacy.com isn't even one of their web sites -- it's a parked domain.
How to Report this Spam
Early reports of this spam to PacNames were unsuccessful. This being said, PacNames re-wrote its terms and conditions to include tougher anti-abuse clauses, which as a direct consequence led to the shutting down of the spamming domains with that registrar.
From March 2007, spam should be reported using the Complainterator.
Software Downloads / Downloadable Software
Both Toronto Pharmacy and Software Downloads were registered with ICANN accredited registrar Capital Networks (PacNames).
You could see the registrations for both Toronto Pharmacy and Software Downloads, together with their reported spamming run dates, at http://rss.uribl.com/nic/CAPITAL_NETWORKS_PTY_LTD_.html
Names containing "oem" or "soft" are invariably for the Software Downloads piracy site. Other names containing "tabs" are invariably Toronto Pharmacy.