This year’s spooky season is breaking records! Americans are spending big bucks on all things Halloween, from costumes to candy to scary decorations. The National Retail Federation predicts a record high spending amount totaling up to $12.2 billion. This isn’t all treats though – counterfeit goods create a real trick, and they’re something to look out for.
Why it matters: Counterfeit items aren’t just a problem during Halloween season, they cause issues year round. Every year, they cost the global economy $500 billion and 2.5 million jobs. Counterfeit Halloween goods don’t just spook the economy, they pose a threat to people as well. Counterfeit costumes, for example, don’t follow manufacturer standards and can contain chemicals and heavy metals dangerous to humans. They also have been found to fund child labor, human trafficking, and terrorism efforts.
Don’t get tricked: Instead, treat yourself to a lesson in avoiding the counterfeit trade. These five tips can ensure you shop smart this Halloween.
Trust Your Instincts: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. So, if a deal or product seems off, it’s best to keep away.
Prioritize Secure Payments: When shopping online, only buy from sites that begin with https:// — the ‘s’ stands for secure. Also, check for a lock symbol in your browser to confirm the site’s safety.
Examine Every Detail: Pay close attention to labels, packaging, and contents. Watch out for out-of-date perishable items, broken or missing safety seals, missing warranty information, or unusual packaging. These could all be signs of fake goods.
Protect Your Data: Keep all your devices, including computers and smartphones, updated with the latest cybersecurity protections to fend off any potential cyber threats. Stay alert to suspicious websites that could conceal harmful software.
Say something: Spread awareness among your friends, family, and coworkers about counterfeit goods. If you encounter a fake good, report it to CBP or the National IPR Center. Your actions can make shopping safer and smarter for all.
Bottom line: Despite luring shoppers with low prices and easy access, counterfeit products and pirated entertainment are dangers in disguise. This Halloween, take the right measures, so you don’t end up getting tricked.