26th November 2020

Surge in fakes sold on social media

The Anti-Counterfeiting Group is warning of a massive increase of fake goods for sale during the run-up to Black Friday through ‘Deal of the Day’ promotions on online platforms and social media sites.


By JTS Staff
Journal of Trading Standards' in-house team
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The scope of fakes will continue to grow and will include more and more unsafe products

Consumers are being warned by the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) to look out for fakes on social media platforms during Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions this November.

Research has shown that 25% of people bought a fake on Black Friday in 2019. Price drops make it harder for people to spot a fake and with a large increase of online sales expected during this period due to shop closures, the ACG are warning consumers to be extra careful.

The number of illegal offers has rocketed by 171% since 2016 according to the organisation. Influencer commerce is now a powerful economic force, with many consumers swayed by endorsements from their favourite trend-setters. There are more than 50,000 accounts either promoting or directly selling counterfeit goods on Instagram.

However, counterfeiting bonanzas during Black Friday and Cyber Monday are not exclusive to social media platforms. Fraudsters are acutely aware of the growing potential of selling counterfeits through a plethora of fake websites and online marketplaces, such as eBay, Amazon, Alibaba, AliExpress or Wish.

Recent seizures at ports revealed, fashion items, sportswear, watches, handbags cosmetics toiletries, headphones, electrical appliances, smartphones and toys.

Phil Lewis, Chief Executive of the ACG warns: “As we meet these Black Friday and Cyber Monday ‘deal days’ in the run-up to the festive season, the scope of fakes will continue to grow and will include more and more unsafe products, including household appliances, toiletries, perfumes, hygiene and body care items. We are warning all consumers to be vigilant and check what they are buying. If you are buying from a social media site make sure you check the product is being sold by a reputable source.”