Fake good epidemic with one in three buying counterfeits when shopping online
- Mirror 06th Feb 2019 09:50:06 GMT +0300
One in three of us have ended up with fake goods when shopping online, exclusive research reveals.
Counterfeiters and fraudsters are cashing in on the huge growth in online sales and tricking people into buying duff products.
As well as being left out of pocket, dodgy goods can pose health and safety risks, especially with electronics and medical products.
A report from MarkMonitor, a cybersecurity and anti-counterfeit specialist, shows the counterfeit electronics market alone is valued at over Sh100 billion a year.
One in four people believe they spent as much as Sh25,000 on fake products last year. But even electrical goods were beaten into second place by counterfeit clothing brands.
Chrissie Jamieson, vice president of marketing at MarkMonitor, said: “Shoppers are getting smarter about their online behaviour, but that’s still not enough.
"They are falling victim to counterfeiters and being duped into buying fake goods. They look to brands for guidance and protection, and it’s vital these brands ensure they’re doing all they can to keep their customers safe.”
5 ways to stay safe
But how can you stay safe and avoid falling victim to counterfeit goods? There are five key things to consider when buying online:
Price - Counterfeiters are wising up and realising that sometimes it can be more convincing if an item is only reduced a little. Search around for the recommended retail price (RRP) and even if the item only has a small discount, such as 20 percent, it is worth checking other elements of the website you are buying from to see if it all stacks up.
The site itself - Although some websites look professional at first glance, counterfeiters aren’t always so careful about the ‘About us’ or ‘FAQ’ page.
Check these sections and make sure you look at the delivery details and note where the company is based. Does this match up with the company’s official details? Also, look at the delivery options – less reputable sites won’t bother with this.
Check the web address - Impersonation of a brand’s website and what is referred to as ‘cybersquatting’ are on the rise. When doing an initial search for the brand name, check the link and look out for spelling mistakes on both the website and the URL address. If the address begins with https://, the ‘s’ tells you it’s a secure site. Some of the bigger brands have dedicated pages on their websites so you can check whether a seller is authorised.
Online marketplaces - Even if the marketplace itself is a brand you know, check reviews on individual sellers or try and find any forum chats, and speak to other retailers before placing that order.
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