Most Common Fake Scams And How To Avoid Falling Victim To Them.

Most Common Fake scams and How to Avoid falling victim to Them.


The industry of counterfeiters is a multi-billion dollar business with very common fake scams taking in a fortune, while doing so there can be untold damage in the process.   For example: Drugs that have been found to be fakes have been known to cause serious illness or death.   Counterfeit event tickets cause misery and at times a courtroom visit for the victims.  We will take a look at the following most common fakes categories and show you how to spot and avoid them.


1. Fake Drugs Scams

Fake prescription drugs, are potentially the most dangerous counterfeiting scam.   For the most part, they are sold online via bogus pharmacies but they are also found abroad in countries that have no regulations regarding drug manufacturing and sales.  When you purchase medication from these places, you run the risk that they will be impure or total fakes. Either way, they could ruin your health or kill you.

Action: Don’t buy from unregistered pharmacies. It’s not worth the risk.


2. Fake Jewelry and Precious Metals

There’s a legitimate, thriving industry in costume jewelry that’s made to look like something it’s not.  What you need to be aware of is to keep an eye on cheap items that are portrayed as being genuine valuables.   These supposedly include rare coins, zirconium copies of gemstones, and bogus bullion.

Action: As with all common fakes, the price is usually the most obvious giveaway.  You should never buy from someone who stops you in the street or parking lot with jewelry or metal they say they found or need to sell for some emergency purpose.  Often they work with an accomplice who feigns interest in the deal or claims to have had a similar item valued.  Also, if you’re considering buying a big ticket item from an unusual source, have it authenticated by an expert first.


3. Fake Tickets and Autographs

Fake tickets are increasingly common. They’re offered on online classified advertisement sites like Craigslist and sometimes by scalpers outside of various venues.  There have been individuals whom have ended up in court for selling bogus tickets and autographs, sometimes they’re innocent victims themselves, having bought the counterfeits from crooks for reselling.  Phony autographs turn up at collectors’ fairs and on Internet auction sites.  In some instances (wall prints for example) documents are legitimately described as “estate signed,” meaning signed by someone (or even a computer) on behalf of the named person. These “proxy” signatures are also common with sporting items such as bats and balls, which are often signed by sporting heroes’ assistants.  This is fine, as long as it’s made clear the signature is not an original, but often you’re not told.  Unfortunately, so-called “provenance” — documentary “proof” the item is genuine — sometimes turns out to be forged.


Action: Only buy from reputable, trustworthy sources. Have expensive autographs checked by an expert.


4. Fake Electronics and Software

The most common fakes in this category are mobile devices usually originating in China, USB memory sticks that have been “doctored” so they appear to have a greater capacity, and otherwise-expensive software, like Microsoft Office, mainly coming from Eastern Europe and sold at knockdown prices.  Mobiles and memory sticks, with forged brand names, usually work but are of poor quality and won’t last.  Fake software is a straight rip-off of the real thing. It’s illegal and often cannot be updated. Ownership could land you in legal hot water.


Action: Again, low price is the giveaway. For example, high capacity USB drives that are offered for 10% of their normal street price. Websites selling counterfeit software usually offer them as downloads and have no address or other contact details.  If you’re traveling in China, don’t be tempted to buy electronics or software.


5.Fake Music and Movies (DVDs)

This category has some similarities as the software category. Much of the same applies here also.

Action: Modern computer and printer technology makes it pretty easy to print labels and inserts for these products but usually the labels are poor quality while the inserts are on flimsy paper. With music CDs, the sleeve notes are usually absent.


6. Knock-off Fashion Items

Common fakes in this category include sun-glasses, purses, luggage and polo shirts.  Street and market vendors, notably in Turkey and Italy but also other parts of Europe, sell these items.  You will also find them in Internet auctions and on dubious retail websites.

Action: Bargain prices and the selling locations are the main clues.  You may be tempted to buy, even though you know it’s a fake. Chances are the item will quickly fall apart.