Counterfeits in the Age of COVID-19: Online Best Practices

Gibney Anthony & Flaherty, LLP

As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads throughout the corners of the world, people rush to complete shopping and stock pantries and medicine cabinets by shopping online. In their haste and sometime desperation, individuals become easy targets for fraudsters and counterfeiters. Now more than ever offers stark examples of why counterfeiters always seek to profit from human misery and show no regard for the fragility of human life.

Online Best Practices for Protecting Against Counterfeit Products

Spend some time shopping for elusive hand sanitizer, gloves, disinfectant wipes and more and you will see quite clearly the manner in which counterfeiters seek to profit. Offering items that appear to be genuine while making spurious claims about curative properties is often a sign that the goods may not be what they appear to be.

Take a close look at the seller names. Do they appear to be an odd jumble of letter thrown together? Does the seller have a lack of selling history? Prices too low for a tight, shortage plagued market? Product descriptions sound a little off or not quite in English? All signs you may be dealing with less than reputable merchants.

What about an unheard of site offering product at reasonable to slightly high prices? You attempt to order but after providing all you credit card and shipping information the site bombs out. Often a sign of a scam site that is more interested in obtaining data than providing product.

The golden rule of if it’s too good to be true, it likely isn’t still holds even in these difficult times. When personal health and safety are of the utmost concern, it pays to stick to the sites, brands and sellers you are familiar with and have a reputation of being responsible. Do not be fooled by counterfeiters who have no qualms about putting health and safety at risk. And remember, no matter how much a legitimate site claims to be policing third party sellers, the sheer volume can overwhelm those efforts.

It is important to be as vigilant about purchasing health related products as it is to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Let’s be careful out there!

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Gibney Anthony & Flaherty, LLP

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