The sale of counterfeit goods is no longer limited to physical spaces, as merchants are increasingly using social networks or even websites to sell imitations of famous brands. The new trend in the world of counterfeiting is promoting the sale of counterfeit footwear, clothing, perfumes or accessories through Facebook. Over the first ten months of 2019, the Food and Economic Safety Authority (ASAE) opened 80 crime investigations against the practice, advances the Jornal de Notícias.
In the first half of 2019, ASAE seized 1,100 million euros in counterfeit goods, totaling 786,000 items: from cosmetics to clothing, to alcohol, jewelery, pharmaceuticals and even smartphones. In addition to trade shows, the Internet is becoming a place of choice for traders of this type of counterfeit goods.
Marketers often turn to websites or social networking pages to advertise their products, turning them off and back on as they get caught. According to an ASAE source, consumer complaints for fraud are also recurring, and many online consumers end up buying counterfeit goods at lower prices than branded products.
The damage to this type of practice is high, not only for the Portuguese economy, as it implies the direct loss of more than 22,000 jobs, but also for the safety of users. The newspaper reveals that of the dangerous counterfeit products, about 80% had children and young people as their final consumers.