Pineville woman fell victim to online counterfeit product scam
Better Business Bureau releases study on fraud
PINEVILLE, Mo. — Purchasing any kind of product online can be risky.
For Lauri Collins, she believed she was purchasing a genuine Apple laptop charger, but what came in the mail proved otherwise.
“It was supposed to be an Apple charger, when I received it there was no Apple logo on it, otherwise it looked exactly the same.”
Collins contacted the website she ordered from and did receive a full refund. Many people are not as lucky.
Collins still reported the website to the Better Business Bureau for selling counterfeit products.
“Even though they immediately sent me my refund, I felt like it was my duty to report them so other people didn’t have to go through what I went through.”
Unfortunately Collins is not the only person to fall victim to an online counterfeit scam. The Better Business Bureau receives reports like hers all the time according to Springfield Regional Director, Stephanie Garland.
“What’s interesting is right before Christmas time in this area we saw a lot of fake quilts that were being sold and so people were thinking they were going to get a quilt for grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, it was going to be homemade, a really sweet gift and then it wasn’t ever really coming in which is a case in a lot of these places or they were getting a really inferior product.”
Garland says the cost of fraud with counterfeit products is extreme.
“A government survey estimated this is about 200-250 billion dollars that it cost the US economy every year.”
According to a study by the B-B-B, the F-T-C found that 53% of complaints were female victims and 47% were male.
The most common age group was between 30 and 39-years old.
“We want for people to be very cautious when they’re purchasing online bc so many people are going towards that especially as our demographic changes in the work place and we just want for people to have their money go where they actually mean it to and get the products that they really want.”
For Collins, being aware of what sites you are on is so important.
“Counterfeits are all around us right now, so most people don’t even realize honestly.”
To avoid falling victim to a counterfeit scam:
— Watch for any spelling errors or lack of business information on a website.
— Check for quality issues when receiving items–if there are no packaging or blurry images, that is a red flag.
— Don’t rely on reviews only, scammers often post fake reviews.
To read the full study by the Better Business Bureau, click the link below.
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