As thoughts turn towards Christmas shopping, online criminals are waiting to take money from consumers in return for counterfeit goods.
A recent survey undertaken by MarkMonitor will be a timely reminder for those shopping online this Christmas that the Internet is a growing marketplace where unscrupulous traders are ready to profit at their expense. The survey showed that 45% of shoppers are concerned about unintentionally purchasing counterfeit goods. 31% indicated they had actually been tricked into buying counterfeit products despite 91% saying they would not knowingly purchase such items.
Of the 31% that had unknowingly purchased fake goods, 50% said they had done so more than once including 5% who admitted having been tricked into buying counterfeit items on more than five occasions. Worryingly the figure of 31% represents an increase of over one third since the previous year. A similar survey undertaken in 2016 showed 26% of shoppers to have unintentionally bought imitation goods.
MarkMonitor is the leading enterprise-level domain registrar responsible for helping some of the world’s largest brands maintain their online presence. Chrissie Jamieson, the company’s vice-president of marketing, explained how the increasing number of shoppers who turned to the Internet in order to track down bargains as Christmas approached invariably resulted in an increased number of them falling foul of the counterfeiters and being tricked into purchasing imitation goods on-line.
Jamieson went on to confirm the problem is escalating. She explained that consumers thought brands should be doing more to protect them from counterfeit goods, with 25% of those that had been caught out by fake products stopping further spending on the brand.
The recent survey was based on a population of 3,455 adults from nine countries including the UK and US.