FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, BC – Like the winter flurries the season brings, our shopping habits can also seem like a ‘flurry’ of activity. We plan, we search, we order, and send in the hopes everything will be perfect come Christmas morning. However, when shopping for the perfect gift, especially when it comes to online purchases, it’s a good idea to slow down and make sure you’re getting the real deal and not a cheap version or knockoff.
“There are many fraudulent websites out there selling knockoffs of just about everything you can think of,” says Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor for BBB serving Mainland BC. “If it can be replicated for money, it will be.”
Recently, a local consumer reported on BBB Scam Tracker that they were concerned about a website selling famous Canada Goose brand winter jackets and parkas. Lo and behold the price was simply – Too Good to Be True. Canada Goose brand parkas can sell for over one thousand dollars. This particular site was selling them for $250. Big. Red. Flag. The concern, of course, does not stop at the price. The counterfeit website is a clear rip-off of the original brand:
The imposter: www.canadangoose.com
The real deal: www.canadagoose.com
Notice the difference? This is the problem we find with fake websites. A slight change in the URL is enough so that a consumer who isn’t being careful can quickly get caught buying and receiving counterfeit items if the website delivers at all. The other concerning aspect of the fake site is that it was encrypted, meaning it still had https:// in the URL. This can be misleading for consumers. Since publication, the real Canada Goose has managed to have the counterfeit site shut down.
Things to look for if you think the website you are on is not the real deal:
• Firstly, look for the legitimate website and don’t rely on a simple Google search to find an item. Clicking on anything that says Canada Goose jackets (or other brands) may take you to the wrong site or a reseller with a poor transaction record.
• Look for https:// in the URL. Normally, this is the sign of a legit website.
• Look closely for spelling errors in the URL. The above links are a perfect example.
• Logos and branding may look blurry and poorly reproduced.
• Ask yourself: Is the price too good to be true? Is it realistic to expect a website to offer unusually large discounts?
• Links and social media that go nowhere. We see many websites that look really good, but lack working links to things such as terms and conditions and social media. Often, if the social media does have a link, there is very little activity on the social media platform and is used as nothing more than a place-holder to make them look legitimate.
• Lack of contact information. Often fake sites only allow you to email them. No phone number, no live chat, no address.
Evan Kelly, Senior Communications Advisor
BBB Serving Mainland BC
404-788 Beatty Street
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and brands they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 365 million times for BBB Business Reviews, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Mainland B.C., founded in 1939 and serving the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Okanagan, Northern, Central and Southern Interior BC, and the Yukon, is one of 108 local, independent BBBs across North America. In 2016, consumers turned to BBB Serving Mainland B.C. more than 2 million times for Business Reviews and processed 6,000 complaints.