It’s hard enough to buy perfect, thoughtful gifts for everyone on your holiday shopping list without having to worry that your hard-earned money is going toward a counterfeit product. But with more and more consumers looking for a good deal online, the likelihood that you’ll eventually come across a bogus-brand coat, tablet, or other gift increases.
Importing and selling counterfeit goods is against the law, so is selling imported contact lenses — even purely cosmetic ones — that haven’t been authorized by the FDA for stateside distribution. The Las Vegas owner of a website specializing in colored contact lenses has pleaded guilty to all of the above. [More]
It’s no secret that online marketplaces like Amazon have a problem with third-party sellers offering counterfeit copies of name-brand products. The company’s latest effort to cut off the stream of fakes involves charging a fee to sellers who want to include certain big-name brands in their stores. [More]
All your bags are packed, you’re ready to go to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, CA this weekend, and already there are visions of NFL merchandise floating through your head. Maybe you’ve tucked away some money especially to buy the jersey of your favorite player — money you definitely don’t want to waste on a fake. [More]
The march against potentially unsafe hoverboards continued in Chicago this week, where U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials seized more than 16,000 motorized scooters bearing unauthorized trademark logos.
Fighting the rising tide of counterfeit goods is a constant battle for luxury brands, and a big priority if they want to stay in business. That’s why a French company behind luxury brands like Gucci, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta and sportswear names like Puma is suing Chinese online marketplace Alibaba, claiming it’s making it easy for customers to buy counterfeit goods in bulk through its websites.
While plenty of web sites peddling everything from spangled pet collars to high-end fancy watches will see a rush of online traffic today, there are 690 sites that won’t be getting a chunk of the Cyber Monday pie. American and European authorities have taken over 690 sites that were selling counterfeit merchandise, saying in a statement that “counterfeiters take advantage of the holiday spirit of shoppers around the world and sell cheap fakes to unsuspecting consumers everywhere.” [Associated Press]
If you suspect you’ve been stuck with counterfeit money, you should be able to verify your suspicions with a quick check. Knowing what telltale signs to look for can keep you from being ripped off in a cash transaction.
If there’s one thing every crack dealer hates, it’s being paid in Monopoly money. A 33-year-old man in Wichita, KS, was pulled over by officers last week and found bleeding from the head. He told police he’d just been tricked by his angry crack dealer into coming over to his house, whereupon the dealer pistol whipped his face. According to the police report, the victim told them that “a couple of weeks ago he bought several hundred dollars of crack-cocaine with Monopoly money and now the dealer was ready for pay back.”
Andre Callegari of Chicago unloaded some TVs on Craigslist, but got a wad of counterfeit cash in return. Then he set up another sale with the buyer in a sting operation, and the seller actually came back, the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The cops caught the bad guy, who paid Callegari some of what he owed him, but that’s probably all the victim thinks he’ll recover.
I’ve always thought that the U.S. should bring back larger-denomination coins. I like concluding an evening out in Canada or in the Euro zone and discovering that there’s the equivalent of $14 or so in change sitting in my pockets. A man in Pennsylvania apparently feels the same way, and succeeded in buying ice cream with a counterfeit $20 coin.
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.
From what I’ve seen online, if I take it to a bank, they might take it, but of course I won’t be compensated. Should I turn it into the police? What should I do with it? I don’t really want to just pass it along.
Emily bought a very “high quality” pirated copy of Windows from an Amazon seller and didn’t realize that anything was amiss for an entire year.
Something shady may be afoot at a Central Florida Wachovia branch…two customers say that a teller gave them counterfeit bills, according to Local 6 news in Orlando. The bank is refusing to give them a refund, claiming that they have no way of knowing if those counterfeit bills are the same ones the teller gave out, but Local 6 says that they’ve learned that Wachovia previously gave a customer with a similar story a refund.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said today drug counterfeiters may have added a foreign ingredient into Chinese shipments of Baxter’s blood-thinner heparin which has been linked to 19 deaths and 800 illnesses.
A unidentified man asked a clerk at a Giant Eagle store in Pittsburgh to make change on a $1 million dollar bill featuring Grover Cleveland’s portrait. When the cashier refused and confiscated the fake money, the man attacked an electronic funds transfer machine and then reached for her price scanning gun.
Officials might consider counterfeit Chinese “translations” of copyrighted work illegal, but we like to think of them as the marketplace’s version of outsider art; it’s like fanfic and Lulu.com got together and opened up a bookstore in Shanghai. The New York Times teases its readers with awesome excerpts from a handful of recent Harry Potter knockoffs, with titles far better than the real ones:
Harry Potter and the Chinese Porcelain Doll
Harry Potter and the Leopard-Walk-Up-to-Dragon
Harry Potter and the Chinese Overseas Students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry