Counterfeit merchandise

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre continues to get reports of Canadians being victimized through deceptive websites selling counterfeit goods. These websites mimic legitimate sites. They offer discounted prices from retailers such as Canada Goose, Ugg Boots, Lululemon, Arcteryx, Michael Kors, Coach and more. They use the concept of a limited, one-time-only sale to attract online buyers.

Paid advertisements generate traffic to these websites. These ads are often displayed near the top of your browser window or on the banners of social media websites. Counterfeit products are far inferior and could pose a significant health risk to consumers.

Victims can dispute charges stemming from the purchase of counterfeit goods. The chargeback process begins when a victim files a complaint with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. They must provide the following information:

  • website address
  • date of purchase
  • amount
  • merchant charged by the credit card

The victim then contacts their credit card provider to request a chargeback. Credit card companies and banks work together to refund victims and then close the counterfeit retailers.

Consumers are also urged to destroy the product or deny delivery if the product has not been received. By doing so, the seller loses the cost of the product and is unable to re-victimize others.

Warning signs - How to protect yourself

  • Do your due diligence and research an online store or website before making a purchase.
  • Confirm that you are dealing with the actual manufacturer and look for any warnings posted on their site.
  • Use a credit card when shopping online. Customers are offered protection and may receive a refund.
  • Inspect the website well. Often counterfeit sites will contain spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.
  • Online manufacturers generally use their own company email. If a web-based email like gmail, Hotmail, or yahoo is listed on the website under the contact details, this is a red flag.

Were you a victim?

Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Toll-free: 1-888-495-8501

Competition Bureau of Canada
Toll-free: 1-800-348-5358

Ontario Provincial Police
Toll-free: 1-888-310-1122

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Toll-free: 1-866-461-3222

Better Business Bureau
(BBB Locator Tool)

Fraud: Recognize, report and stop it!

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