The omnipresence of counterfeiting and how to fight back


MarkMonitor, United Kingdom


Counterfeiting is an omnipresent threat in the business world — the prevalence of fake goods permeates across all industries and threatens to hurt businesses both financially and reputationally.
This article explores the impact of counterfeiting in more detail and the reasons why it is so damaging for businesses, before explaining how organisations can better protect themselves against fake and fraudulent activity.

Counterfeit goods are all around us, whether we’re aware of the fact or not. While it used to be the general assumption that only large, expensive and desirable goods were being counterfeited, such as electronics, luxury clothing or watches — the truth is far worse. In reality, everything imaginable is being counterfeited by opportunistic fraudsters, from trainers and wedding dresses to car parts and pharmaceuticals. 

While the sale of counterfeit goods has persisted in a physical capacity for decades, the rise of the Internet is one of the reasons the scale of the problem has grown exponentially.
By using social media platforms, online marketplaces and other open digital environments, criminals can fool unsuspecting customers relatively easily, while simultaneously advertising their counterfeit merchandise to a huge audience.

To really bring the problem into perspective, consider the figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) (1) in the U.S., which found that counterfeiting accounted for 2.5% of all world trade in 2016, equating to $461 billion — and the numbers continu ...