Consumers get visual help in identifying counterfeit products.
Purchasing a poor-quality product sounds foolish -- nobody wants shoes that don’t last, fuzzy DVD's or batteries that leak, but the problem is much bigger than that. Sophisticated counterfeiters provide products that are almost visually identical to the genuine item and the consumer is getting burned, often with significant personal safety risks.
Could you identify this as a counterfeit Chanel product? (it is..)
The website; The Counterfeit Report® (www.theCounterfeitReport.com) provides consumers a free and informative visual guide to detecting counterfeit products, while providing manufacturers brand protection and consumer education. Consumers can also report seeing or purchasing counterfeit products directly to the manufacturer right on the website. “The Counterfeit Report is actually showing consumers the sophistication of counterfeiters and their ability to create almost visually identical counterfeit products and packaging. If it's manufactured, it's probably counterfeited and it will likely fool you” says founder Craig Crosby.
Internet sites Amazon Marketplace and eBay are flooded with counterfeit products often deceptively advertised as "genuine" or "authentic" by seasoned sellers. Hidden behind the manufacturer's stock (advertising) photos in the listing is a counterfeit product that will be sold to an unsuspecting buyer. Many of these products are of poor quality or a safety risk, and the seller will disappear after the sale. Great feedback is not an indication of a trustworthy seller because many people leave feedback before they become aware their purchase is a counterfeit, actually using the item or giving it as a gift.
In addition to the hazards of buying counterfeit medicines, imagine grabbing the counterfeit Coast Guard Approved Fire Extinguisher featured on The Counterfeit Report website for your boat fire, only to find it is contains ineffective chemicals and doesn't work. Other risks include counterfeit batteries that end up in emergency responder's rescue equipment, home smoke detectors and baby monitors. The unsuspecting counterfeit perfume user may find ingredients like urine, bacteria and antifreeze in the product going on their skin..
While the counterfeit product industry is an exploding $700 billion global criminal industry, there was little information or protection available is available to consumers until now. The Counterfeit Report is the first and only website that provides manufacturers an immediate resource to list and update their counterfeit product information in a central venue. This helps consumers instantly identify counterfeit or fake products before they buy, and expands consumer awareness of counterfeit products they would never suspect like the Gillette Razor Blades, Coast Guard Approved Fire Extinguishers and Tide Detergent featured on the website. The anti-counterfeiting effort is more than protecting a trademark or brand; it is also protecting consumers and pets from unsafe and potentially deadly products and medications.
Counterfeit products are usually identified when they fail and are returned to the manufacturer for warranty repairs, leaving the consumer out their investment and without the product. It's the consumer who ultimately gets hurt, while counterfeit goods, mainly from China, have become as profitable for Asia's criminal gangs as illegal drug trafficking says a United Nations report. Without consumer education, counterfeiters will continue to pump counterfeit auto parts, fashion accessories, heath care items, medications, pet supplies and sporting goods into a market already saturated with fake Rolex watches and designer handbags.
The counterfeit statistics are staggering. Over 40% of online prescriptions are counterfeit, Amazon Marketplace was recently identified as a leader in the proliferation of counterfeit products, and the US Military reports a huge influx of counterfeit parts that are putting our troops at risk. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates that over 500,000 counterfeit aircraft parts are installed in aircraft each year, with potentially catastrophic results. 33 million doses of fake Malaria drugs were seized in Angola.
The economic impact of counterfeiting is also substantial; the purchase of counterfeit products is supporting criminals who avoid paying taxes, cost US businesses over $250 Billion annually and destroy an estimated 750,000 US jobs. However, the average consumer only thinks of counterfeit goods as phony Rolex watches, fake high-fashion handbags, or cheap knock-offs of designer T-shirts.
While we all recognize the tough economic times, there is no reason for a consumer to get stung by poor quality, substandard and unsafe counterfeit products and medications. "It's the consumer who ultimately gets hurt. We're here simply because counterfeiting is wrong” concluded Crosby.