Consumers Vulnerable To Holiday Gift Return Scam
Counterfeit product switch dupes retailers and consumers
December 26, 2016, Los Angeles, CA – Gift returns and exchanges are part of the holiday season, but a product switch scam defrauds both retailers and consumers. The scam is simple; purchase an authentic item, and purchase a counterfeit at a fraction of the authentic items cost. Switch the products, and return the counterfeit to the retailer or e-commerce website for a refund – after all, you have a receipt. The surge of holiday gift returns distract retailers and the deceptive counterfeit will likely be resold to an unsuspecting consumer.
Approximately one third of web purchases, almost $20 billion, are returned or exchanged after the holidays leaving millions of consumers at risk. Many returns are sold by the truckload to third-party liquidators for disposal. The liquidators simply don’t have the experience or time to determine the authenticity of returned items and sell them to unsuspecting consumers.
Not only do cheap fakes damage the manufacturer’s reputation and destroy consumer confidence, some counterfeits are dangerous or deadly. For example, lab tests of counterfeit fragrances revealed ingredients such as urine, bacteria, beryllium, lead and antifreeze. Counterfeit Apple iPhone® chargers have caused injuries, fires and one death. Counterfeit computer memory cards destroy data and erase files.
The Counterfeit Report®, a counterfeit awareness and consumer advocate website, makes regular test purchases and queries retailers on their ability to spot counterfeit items. Consumers can view the actual products and their counterfeit counterparts at www.TheCounterfeitReport.com.
Can you identify which is the authentic and counterfeit product below?
Authentic Products are on the Left -- Clockwise from left; Chanel No. 5 EDP fragrance, SanDisk 64GB microSD memory card, Bear Grylls Scout folding knife, Apple A1265 iPhone Charger. (Photo: TheCounterfeitReport.com)
Trafficking in counterfeits is a crime with criminal and civil penalties. The Counterfeit Report offers this advice to consumers;
For e-commerce website purchases;