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Protect Yourself and Your Friends from the Perils of Counterfeit Products


Due the rise of online shopping through popular marketplace applications, social networking services (SNS) and other online exchange forums, there is a growing risk of buying and selling counterfeit products. Thanks to the Internet, we are now easily able to trade goods. This means that you, or your friends, may unintentionally be drawn into buying or selling counterfeit products.

How to spot counterfeit goods

Counterfeit products are essentially copies of trademarked and branded goods. Most often, they are fake copies of popular, genuine fashion products, such as bags, watches and cosmetics. If you’re wondering whether or not a product is a counterfeit, please consider following this simple 3-point checklist. First, check that you can return the purchased goods. Second, confirm there are payment options available other than bank transfer. And finally, check to see if the seller has provided adequate explanation about the product you wish to buy.

Be aware of the risks

To enjoy online shopping safely, it is important to be fully conscious of the risks involved with counterfeit products. METI recommends that you be aware of several potential risks. They include the involvement of criminal organizations in counterfeiting, the risk that your personal information may be exploited, and that any involvement, even unintentional, may harm your reputation and the trust of your friends.

Plans to eradicate counterfeit products

According to the results from a survey conducted by the Japan Patent Office (JPO), over 60% of respondents answered that, “they do not exercise caution nor do they suggest to their friends not to buy counterfeit products.” To address this situation, this year JPO is conducting Anti-Counterfeiting Campaigns during the summer and winter seasons under the banner, “Don’t Buy, Sell, or Allow Your Friends to Buy Counterfeit Products.”

The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of not buying counterfeit products and to also discourage your friends from doing so. The campaign is aimed towards people in their early 20s. JPO has created a dedicated website for the summer 2020 campaign. The website shows a selection of video clips featuring comedians explaining specific actions you can take in order to avoid buying counterfeit products, and also how to spot suspicious websites. METI recommends that you take this opportunity to visit the website to find out more about how to stay safe in the fight against counterfeit products.

Links to related information

Last updated:2020-09-24