The Crackdown on Counterfeiting Continues
Cheap imitations of luxury goods has long been an important source of income for organised crime networks around the world, and the counterfeiting business has now even spread from the realms of e-commerce to social media. Online platforms, official authorities, and brand owners alike are now adopting advanced brand protection technology in order to put a stop to the illicit activity.
Counterfeiters have been using e-commerce platforms such as Lazada and Amazon to sell imitations of luxury products to unsuspecting consumers, who are unable to tell the difference between the fake versions and the real thing, for some time. As consumers have gotten savvier, a recent strategy by fraudsters is to price products only slightly lower than the original brands, so as not to cause suspicion. Now, they are even going beyond using legitimate e-commerce sites, by targeting social media and direct-messaging applications such as Instagram and WeChat to reach consumers.
Instagram-style apps are used for marketing the fakes, and direct-messaging apps are then used to carry out the transactions, which makes it difficult to track the perpetrators down. Nevertheless, multiple measures are being taken by those affected, and several companies have introduced anti-counterfeiting technology to protect their business. These include spam detectors, blockchain technology to verify authenticity, blockers and online brand protection software.