Counterfeit Gallery

A Final Word

A Final Word

Real or Fake: A Final Word

You guessed it: every item pictured in the counterfeit gallery is fake to illustrate how pervasive the problem is and how convincingly real counterfeits can look. And, many more product categories beyond luxury goods are counterfeited such as cigarettes, food items, spirits, pharmaceuticals, auto parts, airplane parts, medical devices, toys and more. In fact, only 4 percent of the items counterfeited are luxury goods. You know a handbag or DVD is fake when you buy it from a guy on a street corner–but as for the other items that are counterfeited, you might not know whether the garage that just repaired your car used fake brake pads.

So, how can you protect yourself? First, don't be part of the problem. JUST DON'T. Counterfeiting has increased over 10,000 percent in the past two decades due in part to consumer demand. If no one bought fake Prada bags, the counterfeiters wouldn't use slave labor to churn them out to meet demand. And, guess what? The same organizations that make the fake handbags, shoes and hats also make the dangerous fakes. Choose to boycott these criminal syndicates by not buying fakes. In fact, go out of your way to make certain the products you purchase are legitimate.

Knowing whether or not an item is fake sometimes takes a forensic expert, but as a rule of thumb for any product you purchase, use the Three P's: Price, Product and Place.

Price: If the price is too good to be true, it probably is. Know the usual price range for your intended purchases.

Product: Inspect the quality of the product – look at labels, detailing and packaging. Are there any misspellings? Does the country of origin match the country that normally produces the product? Does the packaging look banged-up, old or sloppy? If you see any of these warning signs, the product very well could be fake.

Place: Legitimate product is not sold on street corners, in flea markets, mall kiosks, dark alleys or on suspect online auction sites. Know who is an authorized dealer for the product you are planning to purchase and make your purchases from the most legitimate source possible.

Cheap prices and availability are never excuses for buying fakes. Think of it this way: it is as wrong to support the thief who stole the car as it is to steal it. Your money means you have buying power and with power comes responsibility. Get Real.

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