The U.S Chamber Of Commerce created a campaign to warn the public of counterfeit items

Maryland

WASHINTON (WDVM) — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched a “Shop Smart Campaign” to protect consumers and businesses from counterfeit goods.

In the midst of a pandemic, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center is raising awareness on how to shop smart. They are offering tips to shoppers on what to look out for prior to checking out.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, counterfeit goods are a problem all year long, but with our nation still in a pandemic and the demand for gifts, household products, virtual learning items, and even health products increase, this can lead to the holiday season becoming a busy time for con artists.

Experts say, counterfeit products cost the global economy over $500 billion dollars a year, so it is crucial that shoppers be mindful and do your research before buying any items online. 

Kasie Brill, Vice President of Brand Protection & Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Innovation Policy Center, stated:

“It’s important to trust your instincts. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Secondarily, it’s really important to insist on a secure transaction. Make sure when you’re typing in any details, we’re looking at that search bar at the top of the screen, you should see an S, or the icon of a lockbox, this ensures that you’re dealing with a trusted vendor on the other end.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recommends these tips:

Don’t click on hyperlinks in emails, or pop-ups in websites- Clicking on unknown links can give hackers access to your data without you knowing. It’s important to be mindful of “pop-ups.”

Examine the product’s packaging -Brands typically put their logos on packaging, so if your item arrives in different wrapping that can be a red flag.

Look for customer reviews- If the reviews seem like the product is not good or many buyers had a bad experience, do not buy the product.

Be cautious of online app payments- If a seller is asking you to use Cash App or Venmo, it is crucial that you research the seller and item as best you can, because once you cash app or Venmo them money, you may never get it back. It’s best to use a secured retail site for payments.

Be wary of discounts- If a third-party seller is selling a product for less than the original price, that could be a red flag and the item can be fake.

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