What to do if you have a counterfeit - CBS46 News

What to do if you have a counterfeit

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Counterfeiting is nothing new, but it is becoming more common. We recently reported on counterfeit designer labels and how to tell the real ones from the knock offs. This time, I am going to focus on what you need to do if you end up with a fake.

Unless you know what to look for, you can easily be suckered into buying a bogus product. And while it may not seem to cost much to you...someone is making a killer profit, illegally.

This is what is most often on the list: wallets, purses, jewelry, watches, electronics, clothes, shoes, and medicine. If you ended up with any of these...

  • Consumer Reports says never resell it. You will be setting yourself up for criminal prosecution, even if you disclose the fact that it is fake.
  • Get what you deserve. No matter what the return policy is, you are entitled to getting the real thing--or a refund. You are also covered even if the item is authentic; but the seller is not authorized to have it. That is known as the grey market.
  • If you used a credit card: request a charge-back. Be sure to file it as a billing error. Under a buyer protection plan, file within the time limit or you are out of luck.
  • Contact the Georgia Governor's Office of Consumer Protection and file a complaint. A conviction of counterfeiting can put someone behind bars, up to 20 years, as well as pay fines.
  • And you can take it as far as filing a lawsuit. Under Georgia's Unfair Trade Practice Law, the Governor's Office of Consumer Protection will pursue a case if the Administrator determines there is a strong public interest.
  • You may not realize this, but counterfeit items extend as far as baby formula, toys, even car parts. Which means there can be serious health and safety concerns as well.


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