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BBB - Online "epidemic of counterfeit goods"

Posted at 12:15 PM, May 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-14 13:15:08-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Online shopping has made our lives less chaotic and sent many brick and mortar stores the way of the dodo. As we've changed how we shop, crooks have changed how they do business as well says the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Often, we're none the wiser until it's too late.

The BBB says counterfeit business is booming online and that crooks are making it harder for people to tell when they're being scammed.

"A massive number of deceptive web-sellers illegally use copyrighted pictures of brand-name goods, and then send fake items, low-quality substitutes or nothing at all. One expert, Barry Elliott, a senior fraud investigator with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, estimates this happens in 70% to 80% of online orders."

Last year, the U.S. Government Accountability Office purchased 47 items online that were sold by third-party sellers on popular sites. Of the 47 items purchased, 20 of them were fakes.

And it's only gotten worse over time the BBB says:

"A study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that the U.S. is hit harder by counterfeit goods than any other country. The OECD found that counterfeiting went up 80% between 2008 and 2013."

When it comes to counterfeit victims, the BBB says

  • People ages 30-39 are the most common
  • 53% are female
  • 47% are male
  • Average loss is $350

You can read the BBB's full release here.