How to identify counterfeit sales online

To successfully identify counterfeit sales online, you need to monitor online marketplaces, websites, social media platforms, app stores and Darknet. Below you will find a number of red flags to help identify fakes.

  • As the saying goes, If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Counterfeiters typically try to entice customers with low prices. However, a parallel trend is emerging where they are raising prices – in an attempt to avoid detection, while at the same time maximising gains.
  • Be sure to monitor repeat offenders. If/when they reappear, chances are they will once again engage in counterfeit sales.
  • Image details may indicate whether a product is genuine or fake. Look for inconsistencies and misspellings in logos and packaging. Counterfeiters typically use the same kind of images.
  • Sellers describe their products as “replicas” (for example).
  • Customer reviews. Buyers may leave comments claiming that products are counterfeits.
  • Location. The product may originate from a place known for selling fakes.
  • Legitimate sites will often have at least some stock or availability issues. Illicit sites always have items in stock ¬– and these are always available.
  • Website. If the site looks poorly maintained and contact details are either vague or non-existent, it is almost certainly not legitimate.

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