The Anti-Counterfeiting Group are warning consumers to be extra vigilant about buying fakes during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, advising that ‘if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is’.
Last year online sales around the seasonal shopping event rose by 46%, and forecasts reveal that UK shoppers are likely to spend more than £2 billion on 29 November and over £8 billion, in total, by the end of Cyber Monday.
But shoppers need to be aware that they are not the only ones seeking to benefit from Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, international gangs of counterfeiters and pirates will be operating in force over the period.
Shopping extravaganzas are irresistible for “fakers” and they know that shoppers looking for a good deal are more likely to take a chance. Criminals can operate easily behind sophisticated looking sales sites, using fake trademarks, brands and emblems and even bogus certification labels to entice shoppers into thinking they are buying genuine, safe, products. The reality is, of course, that consumers can often end up with poor quality and in many cases, dangerous goods.
Additionally, criminals use the opportunity to access personal details and banking information with 25% of UK consumers having experienced cyber-fraud and identity theft during these sales periods.
Top tips from the Anti-Counterfeiting Group
- Firstly, check who you are buying from. If you’re in the high street, go to a reputable store. If you’re online remember that over 83% of fakes come from China. So, if the website or shipping address looks to be in China or Hong Kong take extra care.
- Don’t be too quick in committing your money. Check the price of the product against other sites. You may even get the same deal from the original manufacturers.