We know. You love everything that has to do with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and that includes Mark Hamill. But before you shell out the big bucks for that piece of memorabilia bearing Luke Skywalker’s signature, you might want to check its authenticity with the source itself: Mark Hamill (or Luke Skywalker, depending on your grasp on reality). [More]
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.
At the urging of the FTC, a court in California has shut down a telemarketing racket that has a little bit of everything: resale scams, fake designer goods, and illegal legal threats. It’s a scam trifecta!
Back in 2010, with the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the horizon, Congress authorized the U.S. Mint to produce and sell a commemorative medal. But that didn’t stop one company from advertising imitation versions it called “exclusively authorized” 9/11 commemorative dollar coins. [More]
Well, that was quick. On Friday, we wrote about the iOS app that allowed users to craft fake driver’s licenses — for the sole purpose of entertaining and amusing their friends, of course — and how one U.S. Senator had appealed to Apple CEO Tim Cook to have it removed from Apple’s online store. Looks like that may have been sufficient, as the app has is no longer on sale.
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.
Chinese officials moved to shut down two detailed fake Apple stores in Kumnmig after a blogger’s post exposing the counterfeits went viral.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A guy withdrew some hundreds from his credit union to pay his roommate his portion of the rent. The roommate deposited them at Chase, which later discovered that one of the hundreds was actually a $5 altered to look like a $100.
In 2004, a “ruby-glass composite”–basically a mixture of ruby and leaded glass–hit the jewelry market. At the time, a jewelry industry watchdog group “concluded that the stones could not be sold as rubies or precious gems under Federal Trade Commission guidelines, since they lacked the durability and value of bona fide rubies.” But Macy’s has been selling them as good old-fashioned rubies, and its salespeople have been neglecting to tell shoppers the truth at the moment they purchase the pieces, writes David V. Johnson of the SF Public Press.
The sea of coupons is fraught with peril, but CouponSherpa has some tips that will help you navigate these treacherous waters.
Funny or Die wants to help Toyota out of this awkward situation it’s found itself in, so the site has posted a helpful video of a cheerfully steely spokeswoman who likes to point with both hands. It’s like she’s shooting good news in your face! Pow pow! And really, it’s true that you can have an awesome garage party without ever needing to take your Toyota on the road, so maybe you should stop being so pessimistic. Video below.
Hopefully most of you know better than to ever accept a check from a stranger, but I think it’s always good to share horror stories like this one to remind people of why it’s a bad idea. The problem is, if you deposit a check that turns out to be fake, you’re the one who will be held responsible for it. Unlike credit card theft, there’s no law or rule in place to protect you from check fraud or advance fee fraud–and your bank doesn’t want to be left holding the bag any more than you do.
CBS’s The Early Show aired a segment last Friday about counterfeit holiday lights and extension cords, mostly from China and mostly available at dollar stores, that can cause fires. The problem is that the manufacturers use shoddy materials, and sometimes even fake UL stickers, to give the impression that they’re following safety guidelines. You find out they’re not when your tree goes up in flames.