How to spot counterfeit goods
DVDs and other products are laid out on a table at the Toronto Police Services headquarters on Dec. 3, 2012. (Keith Hanley / CTV Toronto)
Published Monday, December 3, 2012 5:26PM EST
The U.K.-based Authentics Foundation was set up to raise public awareness about the effects of counterfeit goods on the market and how consumers can avoid them.
Below are the tell-tale signs of some of the most commonly counterfeited products from www.authenticsfoundation.org.
- Look at the appearance of the pill. If you’ve taken the medication in the past, does it look similar?
- Does your medicine taste the same? Counterfeit prescriptions can have a different texture or dissolve differently in water.
- Is your medication effective? Keep track of your health.
- Select age appropriate toys. Avoid toys with small parts for infants and toddlers and toys with sharp edges for children under eight years old.
- Look for quality construction, such as tightly-secured eyes, noses and other small parts.
- Read labels carefully. Look for age and safety recommendations.
In its continuing efforts to fight counterfeited software, Microsoft has launched information website to help guide consumers – www.howtotell.com.
- The tech giant recommends looking for for a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) sticker or label on software packaging. The site also provides a gallery of recently seized fakes.
- People who sell counterfeit software often advertise it at just below the normal retail price so you think you're simply getting a good deal.
- Make sure you’re buying from a reseller you trust. Ask the person or business specific questions about key features of the item you’re interested in buying.
- Is the price too good to be true? Check the retail price on the manufacture’s website.
- If you’re buying online, determine the location of the retailer and check for contact information. Buyers should even try giving the seller a phone call.
- Pay attention to details. Counterfeiters often make spelling mistakes or use the wrong font on labelsand improper stitching.