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Brand Protection and Anti-counterfeiting Strategies During COVID-19

Sadly, criminals are using the pandemic to make fast cash

Protecting consumers and your company's brand identity is more important than ever as counterfeit products surge in the shadow of the COVID-19 outbreak. In this time of social distancing, consumers are beginning to rely more heavily on e-commerce platforms to purchase essential products, such as personal protective equipment and food, as well as non-essential products like cosmetic and personal care commodities, household products, work-from-home tools, fitness equipment, entertainment technology, and children's toys. This economic shift creates additional opportunities for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of this increased demand.

With the global outbreak of COVID-19, criminals are seizing on an opportunity for fast cash by taking advantage of the high demand for personal protection and hygiene products by flooding the market with counterfeit facemasks, substandard hand sanitizers, and unauthorized antiviral medication. Just earlier this month, police, customs, and health regulatory authorities from 90 countries took part in a coordinated action to seize over 34,000 counterfeit and substandard masks, "corona spray," "coronavirus packages," or "coronavirus medicine." According to INTERPOL, this seizure "reveals only the tip of the iceberg regarding this new trend in counterfeiting."

U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) is also seeing an uptick in counterfeit products at U.S. ports, including surgical masks, test kits, and medical supplies, as well as consumer household products, such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.

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