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



  1. Look at the appearance of the pill. If you’ve taken the medication in the past, does it look similar?
  2. Does your medicine taste the same? Counterfeit prescriptions can have a different texture or dissolve differently in water.
  3. Is your medication effective? Keep track of your health.


  1. Select age appropriate toys. Avoid toys with small parts for infants and toddlers and toys with sharp edges for children under eight years old.
  2. Look for quality construction, such as tightly-secured eyes, noses and other small parts.
  3. 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 –

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.


  1. Is the price too good to be true? Check the retail price on the manufacture’s website.
  2. 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.
  3. Pay attention to details. Counterfeiters often make spelling mistakes or use the wrong font on labelsand improper stitching.