Consumers Demand Change

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

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Counterfeit products in the sports industry are at an all time high. In just the last few months news broke about: 2,000 fake FIFA World Cups floating around China (Source), a $21.6 million seizure of fake NFL merchandise (Source), and a bust of online counterfeit baseball cards (Source). Every major sports industry is being effected.

Many fans purchase memorabilia in the hopes that it will someday be worth much more. Unfortunately, counterfeiters use inferior materials and craftsmanship to produce look-alike products that hold little to no value.  Honestly in these cases, the only place consumers’ support for the team is going is into the pockets of criminals.

And the consumers are not happy about this. According to a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of DSS in January of 1,000 smartphone owners,  over nine in ten (92%) smartphone owners agree – 72% strongly so – that they’d be angry if they bought someone a product and it turned out to be counterfeit/fake. Counterfeited brands don’t come away untarnished: over seven in ten (72%) say that if they received a counterfeit or fake item from an online retailer, it would lower their trust in the brand being imitated. 

Where are the majority of these counterfeits being sold? The internet. With auction sites and the never ending realm of the web, it has been nearly impossible for consumers to protect themselves from unknowingly purchasing these knockoff products.

There is hope though – according to the same Harris Poll, nine in ten (90%) smartphone owners say they’d have more confidence purchasing a product online if they could verify that the seller was ‘authorized.’ And DSS’s AuthentiSite offers just that. 

A brand who licenses AuthentiSite can employ the mark to its authorized dealers for use on their websites. This revolutionary authentication technology engages the consumer by allowing him or her to validate reseller websites quickly and warning them if they are on a fake site all through an easy to use smartphone APP- giving consumers peace of mind and further trust in a brand. 

Research Methodology: 
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.

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The Problem With Website Seal Programs

According to truste.com, 90% of adults are concerned about piracy, and 88% avoid companies that don’t protect their privacy. Because of this, companies participate in website seal programs to prove their validity and, in turn, gain their consumer’s trust and business.

In order to earn these seals, companies typically have to go through several privacy and website infrastructure checks. This process is set up to ensure there are minimal threats to a customer’s personal information. Once the website passes, the website is approved to display the seal’s artwork.

The security problem isn’t in the seal process – its the seal’s artwork. According to our online survey, conducted on our behalf by Harris Poll in January, among 1,000 smartphone users (18+), almost half of smartphone owners (48%) believe that marks such as SSL certificates and a verified symbol are signs that an online retailer is genuine.

However, without an authentication feature built directly into the artwork, anyone with a mouse can drag and drop the trusted images onto their own website – without a doubt, counterfeiters know and actively practice this. 

71% of smartphone users stated that merchant websites are at least somewhat capable of preventing online purchases of counterfeit merchandise. But is displaying an easily duplicated image all they can do? We don’t think so. 

Here at DSS, we have taken a strong stance against phishing and counterfeit websites, which is exactly why we created AuthentiSite. By building a seal with a non-transferable authentication feature, and backing it with cloud-based security look-ups, DSS’s AuthentiSite solution bridges the gap between seal programs and actual website authentication.

For more information on how brand owners and consumers alike can curb the issue of counterfeit websites and product, please visit www.AuthentiGuard.com

Research methodology:
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.