These are the steps you should take into account to ensure that the item you are about to buy is not a fake
Phones, headphones, accessories, chargers, smart watches, masks and even fake vaccines. Every time it seems that it becomes more difficult to buy online and receive an original product. The problem of acquiring a fake is not only aesthetic or functional, it can also pose a health risk, as is the case with fake masks or imitation mobile chargers.
According to a 2018 report from the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), counterfeit iPhone adapters and chargers can pose a risk of death from electrocution. The same study found that some travel thermoses sold online may contain higher concentrations of lead than allowed.
In the case of products that are in contact with the skin, GAO’s analysis revealed that the counterfeits of major cosmetic and makeup brands contained substances such as cyanide, mercury, arsenic and even rat droppings. Likewise, in articles aimed at children such as toys and clothing, the lack of quality controls can cause small parts or buttons to come off which the child could choke on and suffer dire consequences.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
There is no magic bullet to avoid acquiring a fake. Years ago, the price was a good indication, if something was well below its true value, it was probably a scam. The problem is that criminals, knowledgeable about this trick, tend to set the price very little below the original price.
Buying on the portals of large companies is not synonymous with acquiring original items. Considering that, on Amazon, private label products represent less than 1% of its global sales, it is very likely that a majority of the products that you consult and buy on the page, are from third-party sellers.
Although the company, like other giants such as Alibaba, year after year is implementing measures to combat counterfeits such as the permanent removal of the seller or even the pursuit of legal action. In addition, the buyer will get a full refund in case of having bought a counterfeit.
The best way to acquire an original product is buying it from the official website or physical store. There are criminals who falsify even the brand’s website, but there are some details that can reveal that you are facing a fraudulent website. For example, one of the keys is in the ULR, if the brand name is misspelled or if it is preceded by nouns such as clothing, makeup, woman, cheap, distrust.
You can also check to see if it has a padlock next to the address indicating that it is a secure website. Other slogans that can set off alarms are spelling mistakes, images that are not displayed or that the domain is very recent. You can check the latter on the Whois website.
PRODUCT PHOTOS AND COMMENTS
Although it is possible that they will advertise the fraudulent product with photographs of the original, if the page on which you are consulting has a reviews section, look for photos of other users. In them you can see if the logos are placed in another way or if they have another color, that is, the appearance of the product changes. In addition, you will be able to detect in the reviews if there are many users unhappy with the quality of the article. If there is no rating in the Opinions section, be suspicious.
EXAMINE THE BOX
Sometimes the counterfeit is so successful that in appearance it is not far from the original, so the next thing you will have to look at is the box. The problem with the packaging may be that it is a transparent bag without more, spelling mistakes appear and even it is a low-quality cardboard with badly printed logos. It is usually where they use the least resources, so it can be the best indicator to discover an imitation.
REGISTER THE PRODUCT
Some companies include a product authentication system or a product registration method on their website. In the case of the Xiaomi brand, the boxes of all its products include a code that, after entering it on the web, will tell you if it is original. It also works with mobile phones, only in this case you must enter the IMEI or the serial number that also comes in the box.
Apple has a similar service that also allows you to check the status of the warranty and add additional coverage, if you wish. While other technology companies such as Samsung, will force you to register on their website in order to register and verify the authenticity of your item.