Counterfeit goods are bad for consumers and the economy. During 2018, fake goods caused an estimated $323 billion in damages to the economy across the globe, not to mention, for some consumers, even deaths. But what counts as counterfeit?
Counterfeit goods are mainly classified in 2 categories, pirated items and knock-off items. Pirated products are copyrighted works that have been copied without permission from the original author, whereas knock-offs are close copies of copyrighted material and designer products. Fake goods are found are sometimes found in seemingly innocent platforms such as search engines and mobile apps. In 2018, the US Government Accountability Office found that over 2 out of 5 of supposedly brand name products it purchased online were really fake.
There are several major reasons to avoid fakes. Safety risks are brought up by counterfeiters because fakes, unlike the real product, generally don’t comply with safety standards. They also damage the economy and can easily steal personal information.
Find out how you can keep yourself safe from counterfeit products here.