Rise in Online Shopping Creates Huge Market for Counterfeit Goods
The rise in online shopping has lead to a massive increase in online infringement numbers with one in three Brits having purchased fake goods online. The market for counterfeit products is huge, with electronics alone valued at approximately €2.2 billion a year. The goods news is that awareness about brand infringement is increasing and consumers are getting smarter; so, however, are the counterfeiters.
Shoppers are tricked into purchasing items that are not only of poor quality, but which can also pose serious health risks, especially perfumes, makeup, and medical products. Counterfeit electronics are also known to be a huge safety hazard as counterfeiters may disregard international laws and safety regulations.
In order to protect themselves from online infringements and hazardous products, consumers are encouraged to be cautious when buying online. Shoppers should make sure to check the website they are using thoroughly. Any inconsistencies in delivery information and where the company is based can be a sign of a fraudulent website. Counterfeiters also generally put less effort into their About Us and FAQ pages, and seldom have privacy policies or return policies.
Other counterfeiters imitate known websites in order to sell fake goods; consumers should therefore be wary of misspelled URLs. Even legitimate market sites can be used by fraudsters and shoppers should always read reviews and comments about sellers, and think twice before buying items at reduced prices, as even as little as 20% off the recommended retail price can be a cause for concern.
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