Learn to recognize fakes during Fraud Prevention Month
By Anthony Capkun
March 6, 2014 – Thousands of Canadians unknowingly purchase counterfeit products every single year, says CSA Group, putting them at risk of potentially serious injuries, illnesses or death. During Fraud Prevention Month (on right now), CSA wants to offer Canadians tips and tools for spotting counterfeit goods.
“All electrical and gas goods must be tested and marked as certified in order to be sold legally in Canada,” explained Terry Hunter, manager of Anti-Counterfeiting at CSA Group. “Counterfeiters shipping to and within Canada are aware of this, and look to fool consumers by not only making brand names, but also certification marks.”
Hunter explained that, since fakes are not certified by an accredited organization, they may be missing safety features or using toxic materials, thereby putting consumers at risk.
CSA offers these tips for helping you identify fakes:
Best deal ever?
When the price seems too good to be true, it likely is. Counterfeiters often make a profit by using substandard materials and cutting corners. Know the fair market value of products, and be suspicious of when something is significantly underpriced.
Look for the mark
Avoid products, especially electrical goods, when they don’t sport a label from a recognized certification organization. When there is a mark, look closely to ensure it matches the design and colour of the recognized certification organization. To confirm whether a product is CSA Group certified, compare the identification label against the Certified Product Listing.
Brand-name companies want consumers to know whose product they’re buying. When a product doesn’t include a brand identifier or trademark, it may be counterfeit. Look for missing return addresses, company contact information, warranties or instructions.
Stick to solid
Check the look and feel of goods. Fake products are often too light and flimsy. Plus, counterfeit packaging is commonly poorly designed or includes partial illustrations, misspellings or unclear printing on products and labels.
Know the retailer
When in doubt, buy products from reputable, well-known stores or established online retailers that offer clear return policies. When purchasing online, especially electrical products, ensure the product is certified for use in your country.