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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 16, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , counterfeit goods, ,   

    Are counterfeits on Amazon a problem? 

    Are counterfeits on Amazon a problem?

    The other day, we posted about several scams that are targeting Amazon shoppers. The scams we mentioned all take place outside of Amazon. That’s not to say that there aren’t scams happening within Amazon. While Amazon is not directly responsible for this particular scam, they are said to be taking measures to combat the problem. What we’re talking about is counterfeits of brand name goods that are being sold through third-party vendors on Amazon. This isn’t the first problem Amazon has had with its third-party stores. Previously, there was an issue of some third-party vendors selling items that had been thrown in the trash.

    Fox Business is reporting that Amazon is getting more serious about cracking down on cheap knock-offs of name brands being sold on their platform. These counterfeits have come at a cost for Amazon as some name brands have refused to sell their products on Amazon because of the number of counterfeits being sold. Many of these counterfeits include such brands as Apple, Nike, Under Armour and Sony. Amazon has even faced a number of lawsuits over the number of counterfeits being sold. Since then Amazon has launched a number of programs to help rod their platform of counterfeits and have even enlisted the help of some well-known name brands.

    So what can we as consumers do to avoid buying counterfeits? When shopping on Amazon be aware of prices that are too low for the product in question. Read the Amazon reviews of the seller to see if they have a reputation for selling knock-offs. Be wary of pictures on the item page that are blurry or ill-defined. And if the seller wants you to contact them before you purchase the item, not only could it be a counterfeit product but it could potentially be a scam as well.

     
  • Geebo 9:00 am on December 2, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , counterfeit goods, , , ,   

    Homeland Security warns of counterfeits for Christmas 

    Homeland Security warns of counterfeits for Christmas

    If you’re looking for a very special Christmas present like a Louis Vuitton bag or a Rolex watch, you have to traverse through the minefield that are counterfeit goods. More often than not, when buying a well-known luxury brand item you’ll have to deal more with fakes then you will the genuine article. Besides being possibly ripped off, the high-end counterfeit goods market has been linked to every type of criminal activity from human trafficking to organized crime and funding terrorism. In the past year alone, the Department of Homeland Security has confiscated over $500 million in counterfeit goods.

    DHS has issued a warning about these phony products flooding the market during the holiday shopping season. They say to beware of websites offering deep discounts for normally expensive items as that’s a good indicator that the products are knock offs. A number of these sites offering these goods could also be just a front to gain your financial information and not even send you a product. DHS also wants people to know that knowingly buying a counterfeit product is also a federal offense and could land not only the seller but the buyer in jail as well.

    If you’re looking to buy these products first-hand, then only deal with reputable merchants and keep all the documentation that comes with it including receipts and confirmation emails. If you’re buying these items second-hand, any person selling these items should have all the documentation that goes along with them as they’re a common form of confirmation of the item’s authenticity. Some second-hand markets even have authenticity programs for high-end goods in order to try to prevent fraud. And while it may be fun to own a knock-off as a form of entertainment, keep in mind that buying one is not only illegal but you never really know where your money is going or what it’s funding.

    So, to keep everybody safe and happy during the holiday season, only buy genuine.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , counterfeit goods, , ,   

    Are secret shoppers and Instagram deals for real? 

    Instagram counterfeits, secret shopping jobs, and Amazon to open Nashville hub

    If you’ve ever been approached by a street vendor to buy a ‘genuine’ Rolex watch, you’re probably already familiar with the counterfeit market. With the advance of digital technology those type of vendors have moved online and seem to be particularly prolific on Instagram. According to NBC News, Instagram is full of phony vendors selling knock-off products while claiming to be such brand names as Gucci, Chanel, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton, and Dior. NBC advises you should be wary of ads that contain the word ‘replica’ or vendors that instruct you to communicate with them over encrypted messaging apps.

    ***

    Previously, we’ve warned about secret shopper scams many times. In too many cases ads for these type of jobs are scams designed to get you to deposit phony checks and wire back the difference to scammers. Once the check is found to be phony by your bank you could be on the hook for the full amount of the check. So are there real secret shopper jobs out there? Yes, according to CNBC who direct you to the Mystery Shopping Providers Association. CNBC goes on to call the MSPA the BBB of Mystery Shopping. However, you should also be aware that secret shopper jobs are better suited for supplemental income rather than as a full-time position.

    ***

    Amazon is set to open a retail operations hub in the Nashville Metro area. This has not been without controversy as Amazon has been promised a $17.5 million incentive package by the Metro Nashville Council in exchange for 5,000 jobs. This appears to be a routine tactic for Amazon as they previously pulled out of New York City after many vocal opponents of the plan objected to the incentives that the city and state were promising Amazon as they felt the funds could be better spent elsewhere. It remains to be seen if this will start to become a trend elsewhere in the country.

     
  • Geebo 10:08 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit goods, , ,   

    Beware the phony iPhone X 

    Beware the phony iPhone X

    Since the iPhone X has been released it has been touted by some in the Apple ecosystem as the greatest cell phone ever invented, while others have said the iPhone 8 is an upgrade enough. However, if you find yourself in the market for an iPhone X, you should be on the lookout for phony knock off versions of the popular phone being sold online.

    One man in Chandler, Arizona, fell victim to one of these knock offs. He purchased the phone from someone on the OfferUp app. The seller had a good reputation on OfferUp which could possibly lead one to believe that seller reviews on OfferUp could be faked. The box was sealed, the package had a serial number and an IMEI number which was said to have been verified. The man paid under the list price of $1000 which should have been a tip-off. No one is selling an iPhone X at a loss. The scam became obvious when the man fired up the phone and an Android prompt greeted him. Android is the Google made operating system used by most phones that aren’t iPhones, while iPhones use Apple’s iOS. These knock off phones have been around even before the iPhone X was released.

    While OfferUp has removed the alleged seller from their app, what’s stopping them from creating a new account to start the scam all over again? As slick and glitzy as the OfferUp app might be it still seems to have the same old problems like the antiquated craigslist, rampant crime and scams galore. The more things change the more they stay the same.

     
  • Geebo 10:12 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit goods, , National Trading Standards,   

    Counterfeits flooding Facebook Marketplace 

    Counterfeits flooding Facebook Marketplace

    Reports are coming out of the UK’s National Trading Standards, the UK equivalent of the Consumer Protection Agency, that high-end counterfeit goods are flooding Facebook Marketplace. This includes such brands as Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton among others. The reason that counterfeit goods like this are a problem is because they’re often funding organized crime or illegal sweatshops with child labor.

    To compound the problem, the NTS has said that Facebook lacks any channels to report counterfeit goods. It also doesn’t help that fake Facebook profiles can be created with little to no information given. Also, like too many large online marketplaces, Facebook doesn’t seem to monitor or review the Marketplace ads for illegal content. While this may be currently making news in the UK, counterfeits have been sold on Facebook in the US for years predating Facebook Marketplace.

    This story shows two problems inherent in the marketplace industry today. The first is that any online marketplace worth its salt should be checking their own ads that may be harmful to their users. The second is that this is another example of Facebook having unchecked power in our everyday lives. Many people may assume that counterfeit items for sale on Facebook Marketplace are legitimate since Facebook is supposed to be about real people. Instead, it’s as fake as the bags they’re listing for sale.

     
  • Geebo 8:58 am on October 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: counterfeit goods, designer goods, , eBay Authenticate,   

    eBay cracks down on high end counterfeits 

    eBay cracks down on high end counterfeits

    If you’re an aficionado of designer accessories made by the likes of Louis Vuitton and Gucci, but are looking to buy them at a discount then you probably know the hazards of trying to avoid the counterfeits. Designer knock-offs have always been a blight upon the fashion industry and have been linked to everything from organized crime, to human trafficking and even terrorism by some reports. You almost have to act like an FBI investigator to try to authenticate any designer goods being sold online. However, you may not have to do that for long as eBay claims they’ve got your back.

    The online retail pioneer has just launched a program they call eBay Authenticate. For a fee, eBay will have a professional authenticator review the physical receipt of the item in question before allowing it to be sold to a buyer. This service is said to be specifically for the brands of Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Chanel, Gucci, Céline, Fendi, Christian Dior, Prada, Goyard, Balenciaga, Valentino, and Burberry. eBay says they expect to have more brands included in the program in 2018.

    So if this program is a success for eBay is stopping counterfeit sales, where will counterfeiters go to peddle their wares? I think we all know the answer to that. I won’t mention them by name, but it will probably be a certain classifieds site that does not care enough for their customers to moderate their own ads. In case you need another hint, their name rhymes with draigslist.

     
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