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Don't Be Caught On Santa's Naughty List: Canadians Vulnerable To Counterfeit Purchases This Holiday Season

Microsoft Canada survey reveals Canadians do not feel confident in their ability to identify counterfeit products

MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Eighty-four per cent of Canadians say they have not knowingly purchased a counterfeit product, yet a recent survey commissioned by Microsoft Canada, suggests that Canadians do not know where the risks really lie.

Canadians are not confident they know how to identify the differences between counterfeit and genuine products. Less than half of the consumers surveyed felt they know how to identify counterfeit products such as albums/movies (43%), clothing (30%), computer software (28%), electronic devices (27%), handbags (24%) and sunglasses (21%). In fact, Canadians admit that it is increasingly difficult to identify illegitimate products with 38 per cent indicating price charged as the best indicator of a counterfeit product. Poor construction (21%) and off-brand logos (18%) were also key indicators.

"Counterfeiting is real, it's out there and potentially at a store near you," said Lorne Lipkus, founding member of the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting Network.  "The counterfeiting and piracy industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the world. Today's counterfeit operations are extremely advanced and often linked to organized crime.  The risks to Canadian consumers both online and in-store are high due to lack of education on how to detect counterfeit products."

There is also a misconception among consumers as to what the real threats are.  Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians are concerned about purchasing counterfeit products online this holiday season, while only 35 per cent are worried about purchasing counterfeit in-store. Consumers need to recognize that it is possible to purchase illegitimate products both in-store and online and proactively take the initiative to identify the real from the fake, which can include everything from clothing to electronics, and medication to software.

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