Everyone knows that the “genuine designer handbag” going for $20 from a street vendor is neither genuine nor designer, and indeed may not even hold up as a bag. But when you go to a reputable retailer and spend what it costs to replace the tires on your car, you expect to get what the real goods. Alas, Consumer Reports has found: just because there’s a brand name you know on the outside of a tire, doesn’t mean you’re getting what you should be. [More]
Two Chinese entrepreneurs came up with a brilliant business idea: they bought regular old no-name condoms from a factory in one province, and bought packaging material with the globally recognized brand name of Durex, as well as Russian name brand Contex and China’s own brand Jissbon. When all of these big brand condoms started hitting the market at cut-rate prices, the authorities noticed, as the authorities tend to do. [More]
Boston cops are on the lookout for two women who they say have been particularly clever with a bit of counterfeiting. The suspects were able to get past the iodine pen test by simply bleaching some $5 bills and reprinting them into $100 bills. [More]
It’s one thing to purchase a generic or store-brand product that has the same ingredients or components but at a lower price; and a completely different thing to buy a truly counterfeit product that might save you cash but could end up doing damage to your body. [More]
Chinese officials moved to shut down two detailed fake Apple stores in Kumnmig after a blogger’s post exposing the counterfeits went viral. [More]
The Chinese may have been the first to invent gunpowder and delicious pork-filled fried dumplings, but they have not caught up to the rest of the world when it comes to respecting intellectual property rights. Case in point, the recent opening of an entire themepark dedicated to World of Warcraft and Starcraft, two of the most popular online games in the world, in the Changzhou, Jiangsu province. It’s a sprawling $30 million megaplex spanning 600,000 square meters that aspires to compete with Disney and Universal Studios as a global theme park destination. And it’s a total knockoff. They didn’t pay Blizzard, the company behind those two games, a dime. [More]
An American blogger living in the middle of China was amazed to stumble across a fake Apple store in her town. It was a complete counterfeit of a real Apple store, designed to look like the real thing. It had signage, and employees walking around in the iconic blue shirts with those lanyard nametags. It had the big long wooden tables with Apple products on them and the typical Apple store winding staircase. But certain details were off. [More]
A customer walked into a Russian hard-drive repair center complaining about his broken 500Gb USB-drive. He had bought it dirt cheap in China but it had a problem. If you saved a movie to it, it would only play the last five minutes. They opened up the case and found inside a 128-MB flash drive working in looped mode. It displays the correct capacity when you plug it in but when you write to it and run out of space, it just overwrites the old data. Two nuts make it feel like it has the right heft. Crafty, crafty counterfeiters! Caveat emptor, if the price is “too good to be true,” it is. [More]
On Monday, U.S. Customs in Savannah, Georgia intercepted a shipment of 1,783 pieces of counterfeit exercise gear imported from China. The 764 cartons included Shake Weights, Body by Jake, and Total Core. The gear sported counterfeit logos. So not only would you get the normal benefits of a fake exercise product, the fake exercise products themselves were also fake. [More]
I didn’t know people still wore UGGS, but then again I’ve been wearing the same shoes for three years now (I do actually take them off on occasion). Apparently, enough people are still hungry for the trendy footwear that they top SiteJabber’s list of this holiday season’s most Top 10 Counterfeit Items.
SiteJabber, which lets shoppers rate and review websites, put together this list based on the volume of complaints registered by its users. [More]
Today the Treasury Department will reveal a redesigned $100 bill. The new design brings the bill in line with the smaller denominations that are already in circulation, and it adds a fancy new anti-counterfeiting measure called Motion that uses special threads to “create an optical illusion of images sliding in directions perpendicular to the light that catches them.” [More]
Here’s the new design for the back of the 2010 penny. Instead of the Lincoln Memorial there’s now a shield, or maybe a tiny badge that you can flash whenever you want to announce, “I have jurisdiction over your pocket change.” No, I’m pretty sure it’s a shield. [More]
Who pays for a six-piece McNugget with a
$20 $50 bill? Counterfeiters, that’s who, and the McDonald’s near Madison Square Garden is ready for them. Sorry guys, you’re going to have to ask Wendy’s to anonymously break your shadily large bills.
A jury awarded Rita Cantrell $100,000 in actual damage and hit Target with $3 million in punitive damages after a Target employee sent a group email falsely accusing her of passing counterfeit bills. Rita was trying to buy stuff with a 1974 $100 bill which the store employees didn’t recognize and thought was a fake. A loss-prevention employee then sent around a group email containing her picture and the false allegation to 31 different local, state and federal law enforcement offices, malls, department stores, home-improvement stores and grocery stores. The email result in the Secret Service interrogating Rita at her work place, but they were able to check out the bill and determine it was genuine. “Every aspect of Rita’s life was harmed by Target,” said Cantrell’s attorney.
After seeing our post where a reader raised concerns about whether Netflix DVDs he got with unofficial-looking labels and messed-up menus were counterfeit, Netflix’s VP of Corporate Communications, Steve Swasey, sent us the following lovenote to calm our fears:
There are few companies that we love more than Netflix. Usually their service and support are top-notch among DVD renters. However, Consumerist Forums reader “muffinman” has a concern. He has been receiving what he believes are counterfeit DVDs and has some compelling photo evidence. Please help us crack the case and tell us what you think. His letter and pictures inside…
If you live in the NYC area, one thing you probably won’t be spending your stimulus check on now is a pair of shiny new fake Nikes—or ersatz Louis Vuittons, packs of imitation Duracell batteries, or faux-Timberland boots.
Unwitting consumers are falling for a new twist on the old “advance fee scam.” In this variation, a consumer receives what looks like a legitimate check in the mail, either as “foreign lottery proceeds,” “prize money,” or even payment for goods via classifieds (which includes Craigslist and eBay).