Social counterfeiting: Counterfeiters have discovered social media channels and messenger services. Facebook, Whatsapp and co. are being used as sales channels for counterfeit & grey-market goods.
For years, online trade in counterfeit and grey-market goods via platforms like eBay and Alibaba has been booming. But brand owners and retailers are increasingly fighting back, deleting counterfeiter accounts. In the hunt for alternatives, counterfeiters have found social media channels and messenger services such as Facebook, WeChat, Whatsapp and Yupoo. These digital channels are being misappropriated and used to peddle counterfeit products — social counterfeiting is on the rise.
Consumers lured in with genuine images and low prices
Counterfeiters tempt buyers with attractive product images and irresistibly low prices on their profiles – which are usually anonymous. Items include fake luxury goods, trainers, medicines, brand-name watches, consumer electronics and much more.
Initial contact with potential buyers is usually via private messaging on the platforms. When an item is purchased, payment is made using external paid payment services, not the channels themselves.