According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), the sale of fake and counterfeit products online has drastically increased in the last 10 years. Surprisingly, most buyers of counterfeits are not intentionally buying fakes to get a cheaper price. They’re actually a victim of sophisticated networks of fraudulent sellers typically operating out of China.
Essentially, these groups sell fake versions of standard products such as headphones, purses, cosmetics, etc.. They then use copyrighted images, fake websites, and fraudulent addresses to promote and sell these bogus items.
The European Intellectual Property Office found that the worst market for counterfeits is jewelry and watches. They estimate 13.5 percent of sales were lost in this industry due to counterfeits. This equates to an estimated €1.9B in lost sales annually.
In addition to customers, sellers of watches and jewelry items are also the victims of these scams. The brand T1 Tact Watch, known for selling tactical watches, is taking it upon themselves to do something about it.
How T1 Tact Watch is Protecting their Tactical Watches
T1TW is a US-based smartwatch company devoted to designing and selling military-inspired, tactical smartwatches.
Similar to other watch brands who sell their products online, T1 Tact Watch has fallen victim to scammers. Fake sellers from China posed as authorized dealers on other websites and sold customers fake items. That hasn’t stopped the company from fighting back though.
Their latest release, the ‘Midnight Diamond’, now features the official T1 Tact Watch logo on the rear steel case. This logo is actually etched into the watch and is not a sticker. Customers purchasing this watch directly from the company website can now be rest assured that what they have is authentic.
The watch became uber popular in 2019 thanks to the various functions for gym and bluetooth app syncing. Social media influencers took a liking to the military watch as it can help take the perfect selfie.
The Danger of Counterfeits
In addition to the monetary losses caused by purchasing counterfeit tactical watches, victims’ health is also at risk. According to reports, some counterfeit products are made with ‘higher than approved concentrations of dangerous chemicals, such as lead’.
Other potentially hazardous substances found in counterfeit products include ‘cyanide, arsenic, mercury, lead, as well as urine and rat droppings’.
In many cases, the safety of the general public is also at risk. Oftentimes, these fraudulent networks are run by gangs; and some even support terrorist organizations. There are also economic and human rights consequences including lost sales, forced labor, and unpaid taxes.
According to research by marketing consulting firm, Incorpo, an estimated one in every four people have bought counterfeit items unintentionally. When making a purchase online, be smart, cautious, and don’t fall victim to scammers’ traps.