Today's empowered woman should be equipped with all the information that helps her safeguard her interest, especially against the crime of the 21st Century – counterfeiting, fake product fraud.
Mr. Nakul Pasricha, President, ASPA (Authentication Solution Provider's Association) shared, "Women are the most important consumers in the world; collectively, they drive most of the consumer purchasing. They are also natural nurturers and caregivers; while shopping for anything, they always have their family's best interest and safety. They need to be more empowered with the right information to make sure they do not fall prey to the sale of fake products. They need to be more aware of counterfeiting and how they can avoid buying these products with simple steps."
Let's look at common frauds that primarily target women and how women can safeguard themselves from them:
Online Shopping Frauds – Fraudsters are increasingly exploiting online platforms to sell counterfeit/fake products such as copycat apparel, FMCG products, cosmetics, electronics, mobile phones, etc. Many women get attracted to great offers, unique discounts, and free gifts. Frauds are always looking for opportunities to make these offers believable, so they often mask these on special occasions like Raksha Bandhan, Diwali, Holi, etc. One should always make sure the offer and seller are legit, not just a fly-by-night fraud.
Fake Cosmetics – According to data, in India, cosmetics products are among the most counterfeited products in FMCG. The market is plagued with fake cosmetics, including make-up, hair oils, body lotions, shampoos, soaps, body wash, hair colours, etc. And criminals try to cheat women into buying these fake products by offering attractive discounts on retail and online shopping platforms. These products are made with low-quality ingredients or harmful chemicals and do not match the quality standards; hence their use can lead to serious health risks. Women customers need to be more aware of buying and using these fake products. Purchase the product from an authorised or trusted retailer or e-tailer. Most established and responsible cosmetics brands protect their products with good quality and secure packaging. So, an instant giveaway of fake products is flimsy, damaged or faulty packaging. Also, one needs to be attentive to the consistency of the product or irregularities in smell and texture. It is advisable to do a skin test before using the product to avoid severe damage.
Fake Auto Parts – Young and affluent women are also driving car sales now. It is a fact that there is a severe issue of counterfeit automotive parts and accessories. It is disturbing to know that 20% of road accidents in the country can be attributed to counterfeit automotive parts. One needs to be very careful while using a new auto part. Always check the authenticity features on the packaging. Most auto parts come with secure packaging consisting of security hologram, ink, and QR Codes, which can easily verify the product's authenticity.
Women are natural nurturers and protectors. By paying a little attention and following simple steps, they can make a huge difference and avoid buying fake products.
(This article is attributed to Mr. Nakul Pasricha, President, ASPA (Authentication Solution Provider's Association))
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)