US Chamber’s Shop Smart Campaign looks to protect Consumers from Online Scams and Fakes this Holiday Season. Ahead of the holiday shopping season, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center’s (GIPC) Shop Smart campaign is raising consumer awareness about counterfeit goods, the dangers of fake products, and the prevalence of online fraud and scams.
“During the global pandemic, consumers are ramping up their online purchasing and counterfeiters are exploiting this trend. Criminals have adapted to our new online-shopping standard, and it’s more important than ever for consumers to remain vigilant,” said Kasie Brill, Vice President of Brand Protection & Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of the Global Brand Council at the Chamber.
“Counterfeit products cost the global economy over $500 billion a year. Disrupting organized crime underlying the counterfeit trade is a top priority and requires the business community, global governments, and consumers to collaborate”
To avoid being scammed GIPC has 10 tips to help consumers shop smart this holiday season:
1. Trust Your Instincts
If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
2. Insist on secure transactions
When doing business online, make sure your payments are submitted via websites beginning with https:// (the “s” stands for secure) and look for a lock symbol at the bottom of your browser.
3. Watch for missing sales tax charges
Businesses trading in counterfeit goods often do not report their sales to financial authorities
4. Seek quality assurance in the secondary market
Reputable and reliable resellers have comprehensive inspection and authentication procedures and technicians to inspect the equipment they sell.
5. Be particularly careful purchasing medicine online
Reports suggest that 96% of online pharmacies do not meet safety or legal standards, so it is especially important that you remain vigilant when buying your medicines online.
6. Be vigilant when buying abroad
When shopping on international websites, look for trusted vendors that use identifiable privacy and security safeguards and have legitimate addresses.
7. Guard your personal information
Illicit websites often install malware that can steal your credit card information and other information stored on your computer.
8. Scrutinize labels, packaging, and contents
Look for missing or expired “use by” dates, broken or missing safety seals, missing warranty information, or otherwise unusual packaging.
9. Report fake products
Report unsafe products to the Consumer Product Safety Commission by calling 800-638-2772 or by visiting their website, https://www.saferproducts.gov.
If you suspect you have received a fake, counterfeit or substandard product, report it to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center at https://www.iprcenter.gov/referral/view – or to your local law enforcement.
10. Spread the word
Share these tips! Teach your family, friends, and coworkers about counterfeits.
About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization representing companies of all sizes across every sector of the economy. Our members range from the small businesses and local chambers of commerce that line the Main Streets of America to leading industry associations and large corporations.
They all share one thing: They count on the U.S. Chamber to be their voice in Washington, across the country, and around the world. For more than 100 years, we have advocated for pro-business policies that help businesses create jobs and grow our economy.