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Beware Online Sites Selling Counterfeits

Posted at 7:39 AM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 08:39:37-05

Counterfeit goods are a billion dollar problem and, as part of the recent trade agreement between the U.S. and China, both governments pledged to start taking action to combat the sale of fake items.

But it comes as little relief to people who have already been scammed.

A state-of-the-art kitchen helper, "A two-tier over the sink dish rack."

That organizes utensils and frees up counter space.

"It was metal."

And Nikos Routzounis thought it'd make the perfect gift for his mom.

"Maybe a week or two before Christmas, this is what showed up."

A manila envelope from China weighing less than a pound.

Routzounis says, "I honestly thought like there's no way this is what I actually ordered and it must be information about what I ordered."

He opened it up and knew right away, "I knew I'd gotten taken."

Instead of the stainless steel rack that supports 80 pounds of dishes and utensils, and measures 34 inches by 20.

He got three plastic bins measuring 10 inches wide and just 14 inches tall.

"Not at all what I had ordered," says Routzounis.

Nikos said he was aggravated, disappointed but he paid a fraction of the $100 plus retail price.

"Seeing something that was discounted that much, I'm like hey, why not? It's on $17, if it does end up being a scam well I'm only out $17."

Plus shipping he's out $30, not a huge loss until you add it all up.

Dozens of people claim they also bought the dish rack after seeing the ad on Facebook or Instagram.

They too, were sent colored plastic bins.

"Yeah, I'm done with buying stuff through Facebook or social media websites," says Routzounis.

A quick search shows the real dish rack is from Home Depot, not the Chinese website called Acelote.

We've heard it over and over again, people who bought something online, and got something completely different.

Major online retailers like Amazon and eBay have struggled to keep counterfeiters from using their platforms.

These knock offs not only cost you money but they may endanger your health.

So what can you do to protect yourself?

Avoid buying counterfeit goods by researching the websites, look for spelling or grammatical errors, and search the businesses address.

And if you're buying something online, use a credit card so you can dispute the charge if it's not what you ordered.

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