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How to Avoid Scams This Holiday Season
Who isn’t excited for the official kickoff of the holiday season? Beginning this weekend, homes will be filled with decorations and we will spend quality time with those we love most.
The start of the holidays also means shoppers across the country will be enthusiastically participating in the biggest shopping days of the year: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. Whether shoppers are looking for electronics, experiences, clothing, or toys, they’ll be searching for the best deals. And while it’s tough to turn away from low prices, shoppers must remain vigilant.
Whatever you’re shopping for, you can almost guarantee there is a counterfeit version on the market.
Unfortunately, counterfeit products can pose a serious threat to consumer health and safety. These products are created and distributed without proper regulation and lack quality assurance. That means counterfeit toys can be built with defective parts that can break off and cause choking hazards for our young. Imitation electronics, like chargers and accessories, made with cheap components can catch on fire and even explode. Counterfeit cosmetics often contain chemicals that cause allergic reactions or long-term harm to skin, hair, and eyes.
And these are just a few examples. Counterfeits are no longer limited to designer bags and shoes, especially as the convenience of online shopping becomes more popular. Criminals that make and sell fake products are becoming more sophisticated and preying on unsuspecting consumers shopping at online retailers.
This year more than 164 million people plan to shop over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, according to the National Retail Federation. And many businesses and consumers are counting on these profits and sales. Our government and law enforcement officials are already working tirelessly to ensure these fake items are contained, but it is critical shoppers do their part.
Check out these ten tips to guarantee you’re shopping safely this holiday season:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Diya Li is senior manager of communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center.