Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – December 7, 2012 – Savvy shoppers are always searching for ways to save money, especially during the holiday season. Unfortunately, when shopping for special gifts, it is important for bargain-hunters to beware of counterfeit products. If the prices seem too good to be true for luxury brands on the internet, the goods may actually be shoddy knock-offs!
According to a report by the Department of Homeland Security, the total domestic value of merchandise seized during 2011 was $178.9 million; an amount that would have had a value of $1.1 billion had it been legitimate. The report lists the top 10 types of counterfeit products seized as pharmaceuticals, health/personal care, eyewear/parts, critical technology components, electronic articles, cigarettes, perfumes/colognes, batteries, exercise equipment and transportation/parts.
“Online classified sites such as Craigslist or eBay are popular methods for scammers to sell counterfeit items to unsuspecting consumers and both sites offer ‘buyer beware’ warnings,” says Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “But vendors are also setting up their own websites to trick frugal shoppers into purchasing counterfeit items.”
The Better Business Bureau is encouraging buyers to combat product counterfeiting and intellectual property theft. When shopping for deals on designer and luxury goods, BBB offers the following advice for shopping safely:
Consumers who have purchased counterfeit luxury goods can file a complaint with BBB and can also contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission to file a complaint there as well. For more consumer tips and information you can trust, visit www.bbb.org.
About the BBB System
BBB is an unbiased organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews and BBB Wise Giving ReportsTM, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is difference in viewpoints. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, 114 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, evaluating and monitoring more than 4 million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.bbb.org for more information about the BBB System.