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Back-To-School Shopping: Protect Yourself from Counterfeit Goods

Updated: Sep 9, 2022


School is right around the corner for many American students, so Back-to-School shopping is prevalent in-stores and online. In order to have a successful school year, these students stock up on everything that they need and try to find the best deals on the market. Unfortunately, these deals may make them susceptible to fake and potentially dangerous counterfeit goods.


Buying a substandard and cheap product may seem like a viable way to save some money, but in the long run, when it breaks down or becomes a safety hazard, costs to replace the good could increase substantially. For instance, coming across a cheap pair of headphones may seem appealing, but you may fall victim to dangerous chemicals that are used to make the headphones. Thus, counterfeit backpacks, pencils, and electronics all pose a threat for the students' safety and would cost the students more money over time.


Shop Smarter, Not Harder


There are many ways that one can protect themselves from purchasing such counterfeit goods. Here are some tips listed below:

  1. Trust your instincts: If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

  2. Insist on secure transactions: Make sure your payments are submitted via websites beginning with the https:// (the “s” stands for secure) and look for a lock symbol at the bottom of your browser.

  3. Watch for missing charges: Criminals trafficking in counterfeit goods often do not report their sales to financial authorities, and so they will omit sales tax and other fees. This often amounts to a noticeable difference in the final price. Buyer beware.

  4. Seek quality assurance in the secondary market: Reputable and reliable resellers have comprehensive inspection and authentication procedures and technicians to inspect the equipment they sell.

  5. Be careful purchasing medicine online: Over 96% of online pharmacies do not meet safety or legal standards. To find an accredited digital pharmacy, verify with the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy.

  6. Be vigilant when buying abroad: When shopping on international websites, look for trusted vendors that use identifiable privacy security safeguards and have reasonable return policies.

  7. Guard your personal information: Illicit websites often install malware that can steal your credit card information and other information stored on your computer.

  8. Scrutinize labels, packaging, and contents: Look for missing or expired dates on perishable products, broken or non-existent safety seals, false warranty information, or otherwise unusual packaging.

  9. Report fake products: Report unsafe counterfeit products to U.S. Customs Border and Protection or the National IPR Center.




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