Consumers Want Brands To Protect Them Against Knockoffs, Fakes, Fraud

U.S. consumers continue to encounter fake products while on the Internet. One-quarter of consumers in a recent study report they have been sold counterfeit products, while 36% have experienced fake ads or social posts, 41% have come across fake websites, and 35% have experienced fake social media accounts.

The report — Product, Place, Price, Promotion, Protection — released today by Incopro, which makes software to protect brands, analyzed shopper perspectives on the role that brand authenticity plays in their decision-making process. About 2,000 U.S. consumers participated in the survey fielded in November 2020, in partnership with marketing research firm Savanta.

The data shows brands fall below consumer expectations when dealing with counterfeit goods. Consumers look to brands to do more and that may mean extending responsibility beyond legal and deeper into marketing departments.

Three out of four U.S. consumers, said they would be put off by a brand after unknowingly buying fake products.

Some 63% said that a simple Google search and landing on a fake web page would taint a brand in their eyes. About 79% said it was either very or extremely important for brands to feel real and authentic. And 71% are concerned about counterfeit goods feeding into criminal activity.

When it comes to taking responsibility for fake goods, 69% of consumers surveyed point to brands, and 65% of respondents feel that brands are responsible for protecting them from fake marketing content, including ads and websites. Some 77% believe brands are responsible for reporting fake social media accounts that impersonate them.

Some 71% of consumers believe brands should do more to protect them from impersonating brands and phishing attacks. Only 33% of consumers see fraudulent products and content as an unavoidable part of today’s world.

In June, Amazon launched a counterfeit crime unit dedicated to finding and prosecuting counterfeiters who are violating the law. Former federal prosecutors, experienced investigators, and data analysts comprise the team. The goal is to eliminate counterfeit product sales and listings.

Amazon last year invested more than $500 million and had more than 8,000 employees fighting fraud, including counterfeit.

The company said its efforts have blocked more than six billion suspected bad product listings in 2019 and blocked more than 2.5 million suspected bad actor accounts before they were able to make a product available for sale.

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