World Anti-Counterfeiting Day takes place this year on Thursday 6 June 2019.
Now in its twenty first year, it aims to raise awareness of the problems associated with counterfeit goods, as well as piracy.
Counterfeit goods can be found almost anywhere and with the growing trend to shop online, extra care needs to be taken when buying goods.
The potential harm and risks from counterfeit goods includes poor quality and in most cases, they are unsafe.
How to stay safe and avoid buying counterfeit goods
- Learn to spot a fake and trust your instincts – if a deal is too good to be true, the product is probably fake.
- Shop at reputable retailers – you can find out if a retailer is authorized to sell a certain brand by calling the manufacturer or checking its website.
- Be particularly careful when buying online. Online auction sites are rife with counterfeits, and since you can’t inspect the goods first, it’s hard to tell what you’re buying. Look for sellers with lots of good feedback, and ask questions about where they got the merchandise. Also ask for the seller’s address and phone number; if they won’t give it to you, there may be something amiss. Spam emails will almost always direct you to illegitimate sites. If you order from one of these sites, chances are you’ll get fake goods–if you get anything at all.
- Ensure the website address begins ‘https’ at the payment stage – this indicates a secure payment.
- Check the spelling and grammar on the website and of the URL – often the people behind these sites do not pay a lot of attention or care to this detail. Fraudsters may also try to deceive you by slightly changing the spelling of a well-known brand or shop in the website address.
- Be careful when shopping abroad. You can find counterfeit products just about anywhere, but in some developing nations and in popular worldwide tourist destinations, you can be almost certain that the goods you’re buying are counterfeit. Once again, if a deal is too good to be true, the product’s probably a fake.
What to do if you are a victim of counterfeit fraud
Report suspected counterfeits. If you see or have purchased a product you think may be a fake, contact the national Citizens Advice Consumer Service (CACS) on 03454 04 05 06 or alternatively, ring the council’s Trading Standards team on 0151 489 6000.