Counterfeit products on vacation and online: Recognizing fake brands

Please find 10 hints below explaining on what you should pay attention to avoid buying counterfeit products.

10 ways to spot counterfeits on the internet

Buying counterfeit goods  is risky for your security,  your health and your wallet. So don’t do it!

  1. When using search engines to look for certain products beware of phrases such as "cheap" or "free shipping" as this can be an indication that the site is fraudulent.
  2. Verify the identity of the seller's contact details by searching the legal information or terms and conditions section of their website.
  3. Look online for reviews about the seller's website.
  4. Verify any trust certificates on their website by contacting the certifier directly.
  5. Check with the brand holder to see if they have a list of approved re-sellers or a known list of counterfeit sites.
  6. Compare the prices of the seller's website with that of the official seller or high street retailer.  If it looks too good to be true, it probably is!
  7. Compare the brands official logo with the one on the goods on the sellers website. Do they match?
  8. Check the terms and conditions on the sellers website to see if they mention the applicable laws that protect you as a consumer.
  9. Beware of websites that have a poor design, broken English or poor quality images.
  10. Secure your payment! Always give preference to methods of payment that offer extra protection, like a credit card.

What happens if I have already received counterfeit goods?

  • Check with your bank or card issuer for any chargeback or similar schemes available to get a reimbursement.
  • Withdraw your order within 14 days from the date of order by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.
  • Report the website to Actionfraud for intelligence.
  • Contact the official brand holder to report the activity of the seller's website.

To view the complete guide on what to look out for when buying goods online please click the linkCounterfeit Goods guide

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.