My dad used to warn me against getting scammed with the old saying, “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” Looks like the modern version is, “Don’t take any plastic hair” (Or at least make sure you know what you’re getting).
I know someone who was very happy to find a designer purse from Italy, only to discover the stamp, “Made in China” on the inside. She got it cheaply enough that she didn’t feel too ripped off, but some folks pay a lot of money for counterfeit items and it can be a major hit to the wallet–as well as a big disappointment.
Your BBB warns to be careful what you purchase online to be sure you’re getting what you pay for.
Need to purchase hair for extensions, or to hide male pattern baldness? The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) warns that human hair–preferred by many for its natural feel and longevity–is being advertised for sale on websites alongside counterfeit clothing and other accessories. If the designer clothing is fake, the hair is likely fake as well.
According to a scam alert from IC3, numerous websites have been found advertising human hair, as well as brand name shoes, clothing and other items. However, consumers have received synthetic hair after paying a much higher price for what they thought was an authentic commodity.
BBB offers the following advice for shopping safely when looking for deals, as well as tips on how to spot a fake:
- Always deal with reputable businesses. The number one way to avoid getting ripped off when buying luxury goods is to deal with reputable businesses. When in doubt, shoppers can contact the manufacturer and verify which vendors are authorized sellers. Consumers should also check out the business with BBB at bbb.org.
- If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. One of the biggest red flags for knock-off merchandise is an unrealistic price. Extremely low prices are tempting but not to be believed.
- Read between the lines. Some websites or online classified ads will go overboard in their description of the item in order to coax the buyer’s trust. Overuse of “genuine,” “real” or “authentic” is a bad sign. Buyers also need to keep an eye out for sneaky phrases like “inspired by.”