Counterfeiting and brand theft crimes have been given unlimited new life and opportunity online — they affect all industries and all major brands on a global scale. So how can companies selling products online mitigate these risks?
In addition to rogue sites, sellers of counterfeit goods still slip through the net on legitimate marketplaces which closely police vendors. Mobile apps and social media are new frontiers. Social media networks are used to post links to counterfeit products. Copycat social media pages can use your company name and logo to lend greater credibility to fraudulent activity.
The loss of trust and credibility in the retailer or brand alone has huge consequences. Therefore, not only do fake websites need to be taken down, but online marketplaces that support counterfeiting and fraudulent social media profiles need to be eliminated too.
What should online retailers be looking for?
While pursuing cybercriminals may seem like a very slippery business, there are a few clear-cut ways to identify and catch online fakes and track down retail fraudsters:
- Comparing product photos is helpful in identifying illegitimate sites using standard “official” shots
- Authenticated product labels and other cryptography-based methods are already used in the pharmaceuticals sector and could be transferable to other industries
- Packaging is also key to a product’s authenticity, and numerous markers can be put in place to seal a product’s identity and value
Every retailer has a responsibility to acknowledge that the problem of online counterfeiting is real, immediate and close by — cyber criminals are ubiquitous and constantly adapting. Taking action provides a sure and very rapid return on investment, because removing such infringements directly and positively affects the core metrics of Internet retailing — more traffic, more conversion, more satisfied and happy customers.
Click here for more information on how NetNames can help retail and FMCG companies protect their brand online