There's Been an Explosion of Counterfeit Items (Including Face Masks and Hand Sanitizer) During COVID-19
Once COVID-19 began to grip the world, it became obvious that there would be opportunities for many people to rise to the occasion so as to maintain our hope. We should probably have assumed that others would look to make selfish gains, and that has certainly been the case, with counterfeiters relying on the public’s fear and the scarcity of resources to con consumers with fake face masks, hand sanitizer and tons of other goods.
Over the past months we have seen the counterfeit detection increase by 38% across several industries. Counterfeiting is a billion-dollar problem. COVID-19 has made it far worse https://t.co/k7LPf7o9HB
— Laura Urquizu Barasoain (@Lurquizu) May 5, 2020
Fast Company noted that counterfeiters had been set to fare quite well by 2022 anyway in contributing to a $4.2 trillion industry. Since COVID-19 has intensified everyone’s need to feel safe and productive, (the latter owing to a combination of unemployment and stay-at-home orders), their hold over various markets has exploded, leading numerous entities to crack down on exploitative measures.
From a promo industry standpoint, scammers have capitalized on our collective panic by hawking bogus face masks, hand sanitizers and apparel goods via e-commerce channels, and as the nation strives to curtail the pandemic, one could say that counterfeiters are definitely siding with the never-let-a-crisis-go-to-waste school of thought. In doing so, as has always been the case, they are complicating the work of professionals with only the best interests of end-users on their minds, and heightening anxiety when their shoddy items prove ineffective or, as Fast Company notes, do not arrive at all.
COVID-19 has stolen many dreams and figures to compromise others before the world has an enhanced grasp on how to annihilate it. The virus has welcomed a slew of accomplices to its perplexing fold, sadly, and counterfeiters have made e-commerce their playground. Certain states have begun to loosen their restrictions, but this will not signal an immediate return to business as usual, so those inhabitants will continue to call on e-commerce as a means to remain clothed, sanitized and safe.
So, too, will occupants of states that have not received a go-ahead to try to put the pieces back together. This means that counterfeiters still have a considerably large pool of potential victims, and could feel tempted to double their efforts as the public learns more and more about COVID-19.
That could be especially troublesome for the sale of face masks, which have made the most headlines during the pandemic, but it could also encourage people to research, as Fast Company encourages them to do, the legitimacy of products. The promo industry abounds in workers who are bonding together to do everything possible to meet consumers’ health needs. Doing business with them can serve as a healthy decision to make at a time when such choices can be the difference between life and death.