Watch Out for 9 Most Counterfeited Products
9 Most Counterfeited Products
While counterfeiters are scamming year-round, they are most active during the holiday season, as consumers seek a great deal on gifts.
Buying counterfeits may seem harmless, but there are serious consequences. In fact, 87% of consumers who bought a counterfeit product have suffered negative consequences — including financial hits, illness, and injury.
With holiday shopping underway, it is important shoppers know what products are likely to be knock offs. Here are the 9 most counterfeited products you should be wary of when purchasing gifts this season.
- Shoes and footwear
Footwear is the most counterfeited product in the world. For counterfeiters, function is second to form. They try to copy the designs of the biggest names in shoe ware with poor-quality materials, capitalizing on unknowing shoe collectors and hurting brands during their biggest sales period of the year: the holidays. Check for slight mistakes, buy from authorized retailers, and stay vigilant against counterfeit shoes.
- Clothing and textiles
During the height of holiday shopping last year, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seized more than $30 million worth of counterfeit luxury products, including shirts, pants, bags, and other clothing. Some of the most-counterfeited clothing brands include Nike, the North Face, and Canada Goose. Take care to purchase from trusted retailers, pay attention to typos, and watch for extremely unusual costs. Learn more about avoiding counterfeit clothing here.
- Leather goods (including belts, wallets and purses)
Looking to give your significant other a genuine leather wallet this holiday season? There are several ways to verify if you might be gifting faux leather, such as suspiciously low cost, chemical or plastic scent, or lack of natural imperfections.
When purchasing electronics for your beloved tech guru this holiday season, keep them safe by double checking the product’s authenticity. Compare the price and specifications with the original product. If you think your purchase is counterfeit, do not use it — fake electronics have particularly high safety risks. Visit INTERPOL for more tips on spotting counterfeit electrical products.
Watches are notorious fakes. Some key identifiers of fakes are incorrect model numbers, the presence of ticking or other noises, and very low prices. Learn more about finding your loved one an authentic watch here.
- Cameras and video cameras
You may be tempted to purchase your photo or film hobbyist cheap — and likely fake — accessories for the holidays, but such products could risk damaging their camera or, worse, causing bodily harm. Check the manufacturer’s website for authenticity markers and the anti-counterfeiting measures they use to protect you from fakes.
- Perfumes and cosmetics
In order to develop knock-off cosmetics and fragrances, counterfeiters often use toxic chemicals and biohazards in production, including bacteria, arsenic, and even urine… gross. Identify fakes through slight packaging differences, odd texture, scent, or color, and aggressively low prices. Stick to the real deal — learn more about spotting these fakes here.
Counterfeit toys pose myriad safety risks, including the presence of toxic materials not immediately noticeable to you and your children. Fake electronic toys are especially risky, with potential to spark fires and electrocute your kids. Check for approved retailers, and be wary of cheap toys and companies with free email accounts (i.e., “toycompany@ gmail.com”). Here are more tips on purchasing legitimate toys this holiday season.
Is your loved one seeking karats for the holidays? Ensure you’re gifting authentic jewelry by checking for proper karat markings in gold pieces and light refraction in diamonds. You may also visit a qualified gemologist to authenticate your jewelry.
You and the people you love deserve the real deal this holiday season — not fakes. If you think you came across a counterfeit product, report it by visiting IPRCenter.gov and filling out the Report Form. Stay safe this holiday season!