Fake / Counterfeit Products

How to recognise a scam? Counterfeit products

As the Internet of Things is thriving, many websites offer fake products such as clothing, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, electronics or automotive at an astonishingly cheaper price. And even though the offer can be really tempting, this is when it all starts to smell fishy.  

Indeed, if a branded product can be found for way cheaper than its original price, that often points out to it being a counterfeit. Counterfeit products generally induce many underlying issues, and by buying them you could be financing activities you wouldn’t want to be associated with, along with putting your safety and health in peril. 

Here’s why you should not buy fake products 

  • When buying a counterfeit, you have no guarantee on the product itself and you be sure that its quality will be reduced and, consequently, the fit and feel of it might be different.
  • Additionally, counterfeit products hurt the original business they were produced by as they are a consequence of intellectual property theft. 
  • When shopping counterfeit, you can never be sure of where is your money going and what is it financing in the long term, as it could possibly finance illegal activities such as unethical or child labor, money laundering or even human trafficking.
  • Finally, manufacturers of those products might not take care of their environmental and social responsibility or impact, and we can never be sure about the condition in which counterfeits are actually produced.  

Because of all the uncertainty around counterfeit products in general, Scamadviser would advise you to always stay away from them, as they can be directly or indirectly dangerous for you and others.  

How to Recognize Fake Products 

  1. You need to check the identity of the seller first.   
    Are the contact details of the merchant available? Does the address seem real and does it correspond to the country the company says it’s originating from? Or is the seller hiding its contact information or faking it with technology?  
  2. Check out the reviews.  
    Check the reviews of this seller on the Internet, if you know the experience that others had with this merchant, you will be more aware of what your own experience will be if you decide to shop there, and if customers are satisfied or not. Note: A big amount of positive reviews (also in a short amount of time) is very likely to be fake.  
  3. Is the website using a trustmark?  
    Trustmarks can be really useful as by just seeing them, we can understand if a website is legit or not since the company behind the seal did all the hard certification work. Just to be sure, check out the trustmark’s website to see if the website does have a certificate and is trustworthy.  
  4. Assess the whole website  
    What is your opinion on the website itself? Does that one look professional? Many scammers don’t take the time to polish the details, and some websites include spelling mistakes, blurry images, empty pages… So, take the time to go through the whole website, including the Terms & Conditions page to check if those are filled and seem legit as well.  
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  5. What information is available with the product?  
    Does the picture look unprofessional? Is the product description very detailed and flawless? If the photos are of low quality and some product information seems to be missing, you might want to buy your product somewhere else…  
  6. What is the price of the good?  
    Since counterfeit products often go for a cheaper price than the original product, better keep in mind “if it is too good to be true, it usually is” when shopping online. Do not hesitate to compare prices with another website to get a general idea about it. More than 30 - 40% discount is very uncommon for big brands.  
  7. Check out the brand’s original website for authorized and black-listed sellers  
    Most main brands have a section on their website where they list authorized and unauthorized sellers. In order to be sure, just check it out.  

Still want to buy? 

  1. Contact the webshop and ask if the product is real. No answer, then you already know. 
  2. Contact the brand and ask if they know about the webshop 
  3. Pay with a secured means of payment like credit card or Paypal, avoid brank transfers as it is hard to get a refund in case of fraud. 
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