IPCybercrime Stresses Social Responsibility When Holiday Shopping Online

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According to the National Retail Federation (NRF) almost half of holiday shopping will be done online. That means counterfeiters and other crooks will be there too.

Most consumers consider price and budget to be a major factor in what they buy and where they shop. With an endless barrage of emails and advertisements it is hard to determine which online sellers are legitimate. Did you know that ads for counterfeit websites commonly appear on social media sites such as Facebook? And when you click on these links, the sites can often look exactly like the real thing. Rob Holmes, Founder and CEO IPCybercrime, lists a few ways to help you avoid getting ripped off.

Compare the price. If the price is too good to be true, it is. Search the Web for online reviews. Sometimes other consumers have done your research for you. Call the customer service telephone number listed on the site and ask questions. If there isn't one, be suspicious. Check the manufacturer's website. Most manufacturers make sure it is easy for consumers to check their site for authorized dealers. Always ask for the shipping origin. If the product is shipped from China, it’s probably fake. Inspect the site Itself. It is not uncommon for counterfeiters to make grammar and spelling mistakes.

While it's commonly frowned upon, many folks do tend to turn to the black market for the occasional good deal. But the thing is, buying fakes is not a victimless crime. Holmes has a few points to make:

Counterfeiters don’t pay taxes. At first glance this may not seem like such a big deal but, according to the International Chamber of Commerce, the projected Value of Global Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods in 2015 is expected to top $1.77 Trillion this year. That's a lot of money not going to our schools, roads, jobs and needy. Speaking of jobs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce states that Intellectual Property supports over 55.7 Million jobs in the U.S. alone.

Factories that produce counterfeit goods are not regulated by government agencies so there is no guarantee of safety or proper ingredients, if it actually works, or even worse... whether labor is being exploited.

In addition to running a leading Intellectual Property investigative firm, Rob Holmes travels the country on behalf of the United States Department of Justice to present his well-received talk on the online sales of counterfeit goods. In his presentation, entitled 'IPCybercrime: Knockoffs and the Web', he demonstrates numerous cases that show clear ties between counterfeit goods and organized crime. In the segment, entitled 'Jeans for Jihad', Holmes demonstrates from first-hand accounts how terrorist organizations use the sale of counterfeit goods to fund their operations.

So, when you're at home browsing the Web munching on leftover turkey, takes these points into consideration to make your holiday shopping not only safe, but socially responsible as well.

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Rob Holmes
IPCybercrime.com LLC
+1 (310) 955-1145 Ext: 701
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since: 06/2007
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