How to avoid fakes

Checklist for shopping in stores

Get tips for spotting fakes

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Producers of counterfeit and pirated products are becoming increasingly more professional and it can be difficult to distinguish fakes from originals. Earlier, it was mainly luxury products that were copied. Today, almost all types of products are falsified – e.g. also washing powder, batteries and medicines. 

Checklist for the shopping trip
Here are some tips on what to look for:
1. Is the price of the product suspiciously low?
2. Is the quality of the product lower than expected, e.g. uneven seams in textiles and leather?
3. Does the product smell of glue, plastic or chemicals?
4. Is the packaging, text and images of poor quality?
5. Is the point of sale unusual compared to the product image?

... and remember; If it sounds too good to be true – Then, it probably is!

Is the price unusual?
Ask yourself if there is a realistic price difference between the product you want to buy and the price of the product sold by the original manufacturer. Luxury brands are rarely on sale and especially not at dumping prices. If an advertisement claims that a product is strongly reduced, you should therefore be vigilant.

Also, keep in mind that some vendors of fake products will put their products for sale at a price close to the price of the original product to camouflage that their products are not genuine.

Smell the product
Leather should smell like leather - not like glue, plastic or chemicals. Counterfeited cosmetics and perfumes may have an excessive odor.

Labeling and product information
Are the product information, packaging or labels full of errors? This could indicate that the product is fake. Manufacturers of original products use professional translators.

Check out the original manufacturer's website
Many manufacturers of original products will supply information on who is selling their original products. Is the store you are buying from on the list of authorized dealers?

See the checklist for online shopping

6 good reasons to buy genuine products

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Checklist for online shopping

Get tips for spotting fakes

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It is easy to be fooled when you are shopping online, because you do not have the same opportunity to examine the product as when buying in a physical store. Fortunately, there are other ways to avoid fakes when shopping online.

Remember that counterfeit and pirated products are also sold on social media.

Checklist for online shopping
Here are tips on how to avoid counterfeit and pirated products online.

  • Are there language errors and odd prices?
  • Is the price suspiciously low?
  • Is the contact information for the webshop incomplete or false? Check also the "About Us" page.
  • Is the URL strange?
  • Are the payment options suspicious?
  • Always pay by card, so you can dispute the payment ! (contact your bank)

... and remember; If it sounds too good to be true – Then, it probably is!

Language errors and odd prices?
Many fake online shops are machine translated. It often results in poor language with lots of grammatical errors and misspelled words - or odd prices such as. DKK 355.87.

Is the price unusual?
Ask yourself if there is a realistic price difference between the product you want to buy and the price of the product sold by the original manufacturer. Luxury brands are rarely on sale and especially not at dumping prices. If an advertisement claims that a product is strongly reduced, you should therefore be vigilant.

Also, keep in mind that some vendors of fake products, will put their products for sale at a price close to the price of the original product to camouflage that their products are not genuine.

The "About us" page and faulty contact information
Genuine online stores will typically like to unfold the story of their business on the "about us" page. If this narrative is missing, it could indicate that it is a "scam shop".

Is it clearly stated who is responsible for the website? It should be easy to contact those who run the webshop. Genuine webshops are happy to inform you of their company name, address, company number, telephone number and e-mail.

Webshops in Denmark and the EU are obliged to provide you with certain information about the webshop, payment options, right of cancellation, etc. See what information the webshop must provide at forbrug.dk (in Danish).

And remember - even though the page appears to be European, it could be from outside the EU.

Search the Internet for other people's experiences
Have other people experienced receiving counterfeit or pirated products from the webshop? Often you will find useful information about other peoples' experiences with the webshop via various review platforms on the Internet.

Look for danger signals
Does it seem likely that the webshop is selling the (original) brand in question? Are the pictures good? Is the website full of spelling mistakes and poor language? Please note that some webshops or vendors on internet auction sites may use images of the genuine product, but will send you a fake once you have paid.

Look for the e-mark
The e-mark is a Danish labeling system for secure online trading. The certification is not an expression of approval of the products being sold, but a guarantee that the web shop meets the e-marks' consumer protection requirements.

E-marked stores are continuously checked and if problems occur, lawyers from the e-mark will help for free. The E-mark is a voluntary certification scheme, so not all Danish webshops are certified. The e-mark is founded by ia The Danish Consumer Council and The Danish Chamber of Commerce

Pay by credit card
It is normally most secure to pay with an international payment card or credit card, where you enter the card number and expiration date. When you pay using this method you can dispute the payment. Read more about payment when shopping online (in Danish).

Have you already received the product that you suspect is counterfeited or pirated? Read more here (in Danish).

Se også
6 good reasons to buy genuine

Checklist for shopping in stores

Do you want to know more
With support from The Crime Prevention Council, the e-mark has created an animation film, where they give three good tips on how to spot scam stores online.

You can find more advice for online shopping in the Danish Competition and Consumer Authority's guide to secure online shopping and in the Competition and Consumer Authority's guide on counterfeit and pirated products.

The rules on custom’s duty and VAT are described in the Customs Agency's guide to Internet commerce and the Customs Agency's guide on Internet commerce outside the EU.

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Often copied products

Earlier, most fake products were luxury products such as expensive handbags, watches and sunglasses. Today, almost all types of products are falsified – from cosmetics, toys, food, medicine, electronics and spare parts for cars.

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Here, you can read about some of the items that are popular with counterfeiters.

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Dangerous products

Counterfeiters rarely comply with the health and safety regulations that original manufacturers do

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Counterfeited or pirated products can pose a risk to your health

Here are a few examples:

In addition to harmful substances, fake toys can also contain small objects that pose a choking hazard to your child.

Counterfeit electronic products can also be dangerous. Fake batteries may explode and fake chargers may catch fire.

Counterfeit medicine can pose a serious health risk. As a consumer, you cannot be sure whether the medicine contains the right active ingredient or the right dosage of it - or whether it contains the active ingredient at all. Is not unusual for counterfeit medicine to contain ingredients that does not belong in medicines – rat poison and paint are some of the examples.

For a number of product groups, the risk is that counterfeited or pirated products can contain substances that are not approved. It can be clothing or toys that contain illegal coloring agent. It can also be hygiene articles with illegal chemical ingredients. Physical contact with these products may in some cases lead to allergic reactions.

Read about often copied products here.

See our 6 good reasons to buy genuine products.

CE marking...
The CE mark on a product signifies that the product is manufactured to meet the joint European minimum standard of health and safety. Many products cannot be marketed, sold or put into service within the EU/EEC, unless they carry a CE mark. The certification scheme includes toys, building materials, and electrical and medical products. Not all products must have the CE marking. E.g. the scheme does not include food, cosmetics or clothing.

…is also used on counterfeited and pirated products.
These days counterfeiting is so professional that the CE mark is copied alongside with products and trademarks in an attempt to convince the buyer that the product is genuine. Thus, the CE mark on a counterfeit product is not a guarantee that the product meets the European standard. E.g. counterfeit electronics and machines may pose a safety risk, because they can break down, explode, self-ignite, cause electrical shock, etc.

You can read more about the CE marking on the Danish Safety Technology Authority website (link in Danish).

 

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