Fashion brands such as Adidas, Nike, Ray-Ban, Canada Goose and Ted Baker are being used by scammers to lure unsuspecting online shoppers into fake e-commerce websites, according to a new study by Scamadviser and the Ecommerce Foundation. Scammers often use logos and imagery from these brands to make consumers think that they are buying products from an official or reputable source, when in reality they will either receive a counterfeit item or no item at all.

Attractive discounts on luxury items are another strategy commonly used by scammers to prey on online shoppers. “Be careful when seeing these kinds of deals. When an offer seems too good to be true, especially for premium goods, it usually is”, reads a statement by the two organizations. “We believe that approximately 10 percent of products bearing our brand in certain categories are fake”, said Adidas Chief Executive Kasper Rorsted in a recent interview to CNBC.

Luckily, a growing number of consumers seem to be getting more savvy about the dangers of online shopping. Last month, Scamadviser’s online tool to check whether an e-commerce website is legitimate has seen a 20 percent growth in the number of visitors, compared to the same period last year. “This suggests users are getting more savvy or that instances of fake websites are rising”, ponders the company. The growth in Chinese visitors is particularly impressive: no less than 400 percent year on year.

Scamadviser’s free-to-use tool rates how trustworthy e-commerce websites are, based on “independent third-party information”. “The data is collected by a self-improving AI formula which performs over 40 technical checks to base its Trust Score on”, according to the statement.

 

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