With 10% of global trade estimated to be in counterfeit goods, Intellectual Property crime – which includes counterfeit goods – is seriously big business.
Often found for sale online and at markets, criminals selling counterfeit goods are often aware of the consequences of their actions and for this reason purposefully try to stay under the radar and not raise suspicions of law enforcement or members of the public.
The internet is a major facilitator of IP crime – social media offers a great platform for showcasing the 'fake' goods on sale. Previously, the agencies focused on online auctions and websites, but recently there has been a significant shift to social media.
As well as the obvious fake goods such as alcohol, cigarettes and casual clothing proving popular for the counterfeiters, riding gear and motorcycle parts have been targeted by some trying to make quick cash. Whether it's a brand-new motorcycle helmet that you're buying online, or a riding jacket that you've found for a bargain price at a local market – beware, as it might not be what it claims. We spoke with people who unwittingly bought a fake motorcycle helmets.
One of this persons bought the helmet online, thinking that it was a genuine AGV helmet. He's only just started riding so was looking to get a good deal. It looked great in all the pictures and cost just US$ 45 (about 1395 THB). When it arrived and we had the chance to look at it closely, we realized that the quality was poor and there was no way that this was a genuine AGV helmet. I certainly wouldn't be happy wearing it during a crash....
As you probably understand counterfeit goods will not be made to the same safety standards and quality as the genuine product. It might be an exact cosmetic copy, but may not perform as the genuine product was intended to. They may carry markings – such as CE approval – but the likelihood is that they will not have gone through the process of safety and quality testing.
We would advise anyone shopping online to research the site they are considering buying from. Check online to see what other people are saying about the website as many people will often turn to forums and blogs to warn others of fake online retailers sites. Also look at the spelling and grammar used; often the people behind these sites do not pay a lot of attention or care to this detail. You should also look at the contact us section; if there is no physical address of working telephone number, you should be wary.