Better Business Bureau study reveals prevalence of counterfeit products online


An in-depth investigative study by the Better Business Bureau found that fraudulent consumer goods are ubiquitous, difficult to tell apart from the legitimate products they are counterfeiting and stem from a large network of organized criminals and credit card processing mechanisms that are willing to support them.

“With online shopping being so popular and easy as a click of a button, consumers need to be aware of how prevalent counterfeit products are in online retail,” said Mallory Wojciechowski, president and CEO of BBB serving Eastern NC. “Nearly anything available online can be counterfeited, and research also shows that one in four people have bought something online that turned out to be counterfeit.”

The report – “Fakes Are Not Fashionable: A BBB Study of the Epidemic of Counterfeit Goods Sold Online” – looks at the prevalence of counterfeit consumer goods and the criminal systems that circulate them.

The cost of counterfeiting affects not only consumers who lose money by receiving products not as advertised, but also the broader U.S. economy. BBB’s report finds that counterfeiting and intellectual property piracy cost the U.S. economy $200-$250 billion and 750,000 jobs.

For more information on the study, visit


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