As Holidays Approach, Dangers Lurk For Online Shoppers


As Holidays Approach, Dangers Lurk For Online Shoppers

By Linda Stein

Originally posted on

USA-IT partners discuss the dangers for online shoppers and the widespread, dangerous impacts it has

Jennifer Hanks, director of brand protection for the American Apparel and Footwear Association:

“Hanks, director of brand protection with the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA), said thousands of consumers are falling for these counterfeit product pitches. She spoke to us during a national conference on counterfeiting and the sale of illicit goods in Washington, D.C., hosted by United to Safeguard America from Illegal Trade (USA-IT), a private-public partnership to fight the problem. There is a ‘destructive value chain across commerce,’ she said. ‘It’s the fraudulent advertising that is posted on social media. The dupe social influencers are adding hidden links that take consumers offline to fake websites.’”

Alysa Erichs, USA-IT Spokesperson:

“And many times, money from counterfeit goods is not just going to a bogus manufacturer. According to USA-IT spokesperson Alysa Erichs, formerly acting assistant director with Homeland Security, money from fake goods may be funding human traffickers, drug smugglers, and even terrorists.

“‘The internet is obviously the vehicle to shop for legitimate products, and it’s being flooded with illegitimate products,’ she said. ‘While people may think, ‘What’s the harm?’ that they’re getting a bargain, they don’t understand what is happening down the road.’”

“‘So, if you multiply that one click by how many people are purchasing and the money made from the
product and where that money is going, it’s not your onesie, twosies. It’s going to an organization, an organization that is, in some cases, sophisticated enough to manufacture a product and have it shipped into this country. This is not your next-door neighbor who is putting a bag together in his basement. This is full production.’”

Read more here.