Shopping Safe Online – The Golf Addition

Golf ball on white tee and golf club preparing to shot.

A few weeks ago we posted an article about counterfeit golf apparel, clubs and accessories and how they were making their way into homes of unknowing consumers.

Today, we’re going to be talking about how to avoid buying counterfeit golf clubs and accessories online. With KeepGolfReal.com removing more than 250 fake golf websites last year, the problem is real and growing.

Below are a few tips and tricks to make sure you are shopping safe online:

  1. Feedback: Always check the reviews before purchasing a golf club online. If there are several complaints about a product not shipping, the products quality or the website’s poor customer service, these could all be signs that you are dealing with a fake website.
  2. Great Deal: Even on auction websites, if the deal is too good to be true, it is. Often times knock-off sellers will justify the low cost as “received as gift” or “won in a raffle.” Don’t let it deceive you – it’s fake.
  3. Serial Numbers: When in doubt, ask for the serial number. If the company or seller refuses to provide it to you, it is a clear indicator that it is not a real product.

Always remember, if you are curious about whether you are on a true authorized reseller of the product you are looking to purchase, you can always check with the manufacture. Many times manufacture websites will gladly provide a list of their licensed resellers.

DSS and AuthentiSite can help consumer and brand owners alike prove website’s authenticity. To learn more, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

How to Spot Counterfeit Football Merchandise

NFLEarlier this year federal officials announced a crackdown on counterfeit goods, ending in the seizure of more than $21.6 million in fake NFL merchandise. 

As you may or may not know, counterfeiters use inferior materials and craftsmanship to produce look-alike products that do not benefit the teams, the players, or the employees of the U.S. based companies and trademark holders. Honestly, the only place your support for the team is going is into the pockets of criminals hiding out abroad.

With kickoff right around the corner, DSS has decided to provide our readers with some quick tips and tricks on how to spot a fake.

  • Tags tell all. In most counterfeit NFL gear, there is only one tag for washing instructions. However, in a authentic pieces, there are two tags; one for washing instructions and a second for a serial number. That quality of these tags often differ as well – the real ones are shiny and smooth while the fake ones feel like paper.
  • The look and feel of the jersey is your second indicator if you’re dealing with a counterfeit product. The numbers and/or lettering on an authentic NFL jersey will have a smooth look and wont feel loose or fragile to the touch. On the other hand, a fake jersey will feel likely feel rough, the colors will seem faded or wrong all together and the lettering will often times begin to peel away.
  • Lastly, the price of the jersey is probably the best giveaway to spot a fake jersey. Most of these fake jerseys sport a $50 price tag. Remember you get what you pay for and the quality is equal to what you pay for the jersey – cheap.

Consumers should be made aware that these counterfeit items are found in both stores and websites. Some studies show that as many as 800,000 counterfeit jerseys are sold online each year.

DSS is working around the clock to stop the sale of counterfeit merchandise. To learn how AuthentiGuard can protect consumers and brands alike, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

“Consumers, the Missing Soldiers in the War on Counterfeit Goods” Webinar on June 13

DSS, Inc. a leader in anti-counterfeiting and authentication solutions, will host a webinar on June 13, 2014 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. EST

The webinar titled “Consumers, the Missing Soldiers in the War on Counterfeit Goods, Find Out What They Think” will discuss the findings of the DSS commissioned market research survey titled “DSS Secure Counterfeit Study.”

Pat McInally

Pat McInally, NFL

Ron Guido

Ron Guido

 

 

 

 

 

 

The webinar will feature industry experts Ron Guido, former vice president of Global Brand Protection and Supply Chain Integrity for Johnson & Johnson and Pat McInally, former NFL player, syndicated columnist, author and creator of Kenner Toy’s “Starting Line-up.” Larry Shannon-Missal from Harris Interactive will discuss the research methodology behind the market research survey.

The webinar will cover:

  1.  Current online shopping habits.
  2.  Perceived advantages and disadvantages of shopping online.
  3.  An exploration of counterfeiting and other online shopping concerns.
  4.  The potential impact authentication systems could have for online shopping.

The webinar will provide an inside look into online consumer’s behavior and consumer opinion of online counterfeits. DSS is offering the FULL research summary, free of charge, to all webinar attendees. To sign up, please follow the instructions provided at this link.

The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Document Security Systems, Inc. from January 2-8, 2014 among 1,015 U.S. smartphone owners ages 18 and older. The online survey was not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please call 585-325-3610.

About Pat McInally Pat McInally graduated with honors from Harvard University in 1975.  While at Harvard, he was consensus first team All-American (wide receiver), named second team All-America in his junior season, named First Team All-New England and All-East junior and senior years.  In 1974, he was named both New England Player of the Year and National Football Hall of Fame Scholar-Athlete.  He was also named All-Ivy League as punter and wide receiver  and played in the East-West Shrine Game, Hula Bowl, Senior Bowl (first Ivy Leaguer) and College All-Star Game.

In 1975 he was drafted by the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.  He was the only NFL player ever to achieve a perfect score of 50 on the Wonderlic Intelligence Test.   Mr. McInally’s professional football career includes being named to the NFL 1976 All-Rookie Team, leading the NFL in punting in the 1978-79 and 1981-82 seasons, being named to the 1982 All-Pro Team, and playing in the Pro Bowl as well as playing in Super Bowl XVI.   He has the distinction of being the only Harvard graduate to play in both the Super Bowl and Pro Bowl.

After playing professional football, Pat McInally was enshrined in the Harvard Athletic Hall of Fame, enshrined in the Orange County Hall of Fame, Named to the All-Time Cincinnati Bengal Team, named to the All-Time Orange County Football Team, named to the All-Time,  All-Ivy League Silver Anniversary Team, as both punter and wide receiver, and enshrined in the Collegiate Football Hall of Fame as one of only six individuals named as the top scholar-athletes of the 20th Century.

In the 1980’s, Pat McInally had the number one syndicated sports column in the country, “Pat Answers for Kids”, a weekly article, with readership in excess of 20 million. He also wrote “Moms & Dads, Kids & Sports”, published by Scribners and authored articles for NFL.com, PopWarner.com, NYSCA, Pony League Baseball, soccer organizations, and PacifiCare.com. In 1987 he created Kenner Toys’ “Starting Line-Up”, which is expected to get over 700 million dollars in sales over the next 13 years.   He has worked with the National Council of Youth Sports, National Park and Recreation Association, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and the American Football Coaches Associations.  He presently serves on the NFL’s Youth Football Board with Commissioner Roger Goodall.

About Ron Guido Ron Guido is an independent consultant specializing in brand protection, marketing and supply chain management.  Ron has 36 years of experience with Johnson & Johnson.  He has held executive level positions in the areas of operations, sales & marketing, business development, information technology and general management.

His most recent role was Vice President, Global Brand Protection for Johnson & Johnson where his group was responsible for anti-counterfeiting programs and policies. He continues to consult on the topic of supply security and is broadly recognized by industry peers and government agencies as a leading authority on anti-counterfeiting practices and technologies.

He is a Board member for a charitable medical organization known as Operation Smile and an advisor to the Rothman Institute of Entrepreneurship at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Ron holds three patents for medical devices.

Ron has an undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers University and a Masters in Management Engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

2014 UL Brand Protection Conference

DSS is happy to announce we will be exhibiting at the 2014 UL Brand Protection Conference June 24-25th in Los Angeles. 

For over 15 years, UL has taken an aggressive stance against product counterfeiting through a comprehensive program involving enforcement, education and partnerships with key IP crime stakeholders from around the world.

As part of UL’s public service and safety-oriented mission, UL is organizing the 2014 conference to serve as a catalyst to strengthen and enhance brand protection programs, provide best practices for combatting IP crime and to strengthen global partnerships against this growing threat. 

How can we help you ensure you are protecting your brand, website and consumers from counterfeiters? Come meet us at the UL Conference to find out! We’ll show you how we can help:

  1. Quickly distinguish between real and fake products throughout every level of your supply chain
  2. Receive real-time, worldwide reporting
  3. Engage, encourage and connect with your customers.
  4. Establish e-commerce website validation

To schedule a meeting with us, please contact Kaitlyn White at kwhite@DSSsecure.com

For more information on how AuthentiSuite can help protect brands and consumers alike, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com 

Counterfeit Tickets – A Growing Problem?

Screen Shot 2014-05-23 at 4.08.50 PM

by Pat McInally, DSS Director of Sports and Entertainment
949-466-2460

Imagine scoring coveted tickets to a concert. You spend weeks, months even, excitedly preparing for the day but, when you get to the venue – security won’t let you in. 

Unfortunately, this is what happens to hundreds, even thousands, of attendees each year. Today’s phony tickets look and feel authentic to the buyer – but they will not get the holder into the concert, fairground or sporting event. 

In just the last month news broke about…

  1. NHL warns unsuspecting fans that they may be targeted by bootleggers selling unauthorized or knock-off tickets (Source)
  2. Police Warn of Tickets for Fake Fairgrounds Event (Source)
  3. Annual Dollar Amount of Ticket Fraud? $4 Billion. (Source)
  4. Authorities Investigate Bogus Blackhawks Tickets (Source)
  5. Suspected Counterfeit Tickets at Coppin Graduation – Hundreds Shut Out (Source)

Given the seriousness of this growing problem, what can these major venues do to protect their consumers?

Stay tuned to find out…

 

For more information on how AuthentiSuite can protect brands and consumers alike, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

The Impact of Counterfeit Products on Consumers

DSS will be hosting a webinar on June 13th at 10am and 3pm EST to disclose the findings of our online survey, “DSS Secure Counterfeit Study” conducted by Harris Poll. This webinar will cover:

  1.  Current online shopping habits
  2.  Perceived advantages and disadvantages of shopping online
  3.  An exploration of counterfeiting and other online shopping concerns
  4.  The potential impact authentication systems could have for online shopping.

Not only will this webinar give you an inside look into online consumer’s behavior but, DSS is offering anyone who attends the FULL research summary free of charge!

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Document Security Systems, Inc. from January 2-8th, 2014 among 1,015 U.S. smartphone owners ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please call the DSS Corporate Office at 585-325-3610.

DSS believes we have answered the question of “What do consumers think of counterfeit products?” and can’t wait to share it with the brand protection community. But, in the meantime, we want to know – how do YOU think consumers feel about counterfeit products? Are they nervous about shopping online? Are consumers more fearful of buying counterfeit purses, electronics or pharmaceuticals? Would authentication technologies ease their minds? Tell us in the comments! 

For information on how to join our webinar, please feel free to contact Kaitlyn White at kwhite@DSSsecure.com.  

The Financial Industry’s Phishing Problem

According to an article by SecureList, the rate at which cyber-criminals are attacking the financial industry has doubled since 2012. 

How are these scammers doing it? One word: phishing

Phishing, or creating fake copies of sites to obtain confidential user data, is a common cyber threat. This is largely due to the fact that to deploy the most simple pushing campaign, cyber-criminals do not need to have programming knowledge. As phishing is based primarily on forged websites, it’s enough to just have web design skills.

For example, an article by SmartImageMoney showed how one phishing attack that used a Virginia based payment processing company sent out 167 million forged emails in a single day. The emails contained company imagery and content taken directly from their website – luring victims in with the company’s well known, and trusted, logo.

Widespread brand recognition is one of the mail tools of the phishers: the more popular the brand, the easier it is for cyber-criminals to use its name to lure users to fake websites. In 2013, 25 banks attracted about 60% of all attacks. These 25 organizations are the largest international banking brands around, operating in dozens of countries worldwide.

The worst part? Depending on the type of phishing, cyber-criminals can net up with $70,000 of consumer’s money from a single attack.

With numbers such as these, it is evident that phishing isn’t going anywhere and that consumers can expect the number of incidents to steadily increase as more money is made. To fight back organizations need to actively educate their consumers while taking advantage of systems that offer both website verification and two-factor authentication. 

To learn how to financial institutions can help fight the threat of phishing, please join our webinar here or visit www.AuthentiGuard.com