NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Counterfeit products online have skyrocketed during COVID-19 and if you’re not careful, you could end up losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Consumer Reporter Lindsay Bramson found out how people are preying on innocent shoppers and what you can do to protect yourself.
“They were using their descriptions of the fabric and the products and everything else but they were selling a best, cheap knockoffs,” said Tara-Aaron Stelluto who is an attorney for Aaron Sanders Law in Nashville.
For example, a picture showing a linen jumpsuit at a South Nashville clothing store has been photoshopped and is floating around online, making it seem like you can buy the same jumpsuit for cheaper on other sites.
“So something that was $100 would be $12,” said Aaron-Stelluto.
But Aaron-Stelluto, who specializes in data protection says that's not the case.
It's happening to businesses all over right now as scammers try to take advantage of those who are home and shopping more online.
“It would fall apart, it wouldn’t fit right, a sleeve would be missing…all kinds of things can be wrong with the clothes,” said Aaron-Stelluto.
And its not just clothes she says you have to watch out for. Something else people are trying to sell knockoffs of right now is PPE.
Two weeks ago, for example, a website that was selling clothes is now selling protective masks, according to Aaron-Stelluto.
Oftentimes, these advertisements are popping up on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
“If they were a counterfeit site before they’re probably still a counterfeit site but you wouldn’t know that,” said Aaron-Stelluto.
Some things you can do to ensure you get what you pay for is do your research, like a simple Google search of a website or company name.
Use sites like trustpilot.com to check reviews and you can always call a store directly to ask if a product is truly theirs.