Counterfeit alert: Social media becomes breeding ground for fake luxury items

first_imgHow much are you willing to spend on a pair of the hottest sneakers, automatic watches, cosmetics or bags in the market?For the thousands who cannot afford the price tag but still want the brand name, there’s hope on social networking sites. The catch: the products being sold here at cheap prices are often knock-offs of popular goods.Social media platforms like Instagram have become a hub of bogus profiles peddling counterfeit luxury items. Thousands of active accounts on the photo-sharing site as well as Facebook were found selling replica products and many are duping shoppers.Mail Today found scores of pages on Instagram and Facebook selling fake goods.Most popular categories are sports shoes, watches, sunglasses, designer wear, gadgets and bags of famous brands. Watch, perfume and cosmetics’ manufacturers are affected too.The list of violations is not confined to counterfeiting as many sellers use trademarks improperly or pretend to be official accounts of brands. Such imitation items were earlier sold in the byways of Nehru Place, Palika Bazar, Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh and Lajpat Nagar. But peddlers have now found safer refuge on social media sites as well as a brand new customer base.Experts say that a large share of the replica products comes from South Asian countries, with China being a major contributor. Traders book piles of these products and sell them as genuine goods, bruising big brands.The counterfeit market directly affects luxury companies, resulting in profit dip and damaged brand value. Sale of fakes not only means lost sales for genuine firms through purchase of the bogus items, but also losses through the idea that a product is no longer exclusive. Observers say sellers of fake goods are using new tricks to mislead buyers.advertisementSuch pages copy images from original websites and even do photo shoots with Indian models to promote their goods.None of these pages mention any address and communicate only through WhatsApp and accept payment via digital wallets. Many gullible shoppers have been duped by such pages which shut after taking orders in bulk.”I came across a shopping profile, claiming to be selling branded shoes at discounted price. He offered me a sports shoe of a leading brand at Rs 3,500 which cost Rs 14,999 in market. He also shared pictures of the shoes on WhatsApp and took money through Paytm but stopped communicating after the payment.He also closed down the page after a few days,” said Sharad Sinha from Delhi. There are several forums where buyers have listed details of ‘authentic’ dealers who are delivering fake products.Mail Today came across many phony sellers who claim that if the account description says the product is a copy or a replica, then they are not breaking any rules. But legal experts say all such vendors violate intellectual property rights (IPRs).”There are many sellers who are importing counterfeit goods from China and then selling them on Instagram and Facebook. They are selling goods in the name of luxury brands which is in violation of copyright, trademark and patent. Manufacturers can complain against such sellers,” said Mumbai-based cyber lawyer Prashant Mali.Triveni Singh, additional superintendent of police in Uttar Pradesh’s special task force, said sale of fake goods is thriving on social media platforms as people love to flaunt expensive brands.”We have received several complaints where no goods were delivered after the payment of fake product was sent to the buyers who were expecting a genuine one,” Singh said.Instagram says it is interested in helping users and organisations defend their intellectual property rights. Terms of use don’t allow posting content that violates one’s intellectual property rights, including copyright and trademarks.”The manufacture, promotion or sale of a counterfeit good is a type of trademark infringement that is illegal in most countries, and is recognised as being harmful to consumers, trademark owners and honest sellers. Please note that counterfeit goods may be unlawful even if the seller explicitly says that the goods are counterfeit, or otherwise disclaims authenticity of the goods,” the app says.Users can report any such instances by filling an online form provided by Instagram. Facebook, which owns Insta, has an identical policy.Experts say these sellers use various algorithms to recognise consumer behaviour and preferences based on the content that they share, like or repeatedly follow. “Through sponsored post they push their advertisements to the audience that are interested in such products and lure them by with attractive prices,” said Kislay Chaudhary, a cyber crime expert.advertisementlast_img read more

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DeGrom, Mets Blank Padres, 7-0

first_imgSAN DIEGO — Jacob deGrom had absolutely no idea that he had no-hit stuff, let alone perfect game stuff.But deGrom did the night of June 1, carrying a perfect game into the sixth before allowing two hits over eight innings in the New York Mets’ 7-0 win over the San Diego Padres.DeGrom (6-4) fanned the first four batters and did not allow a baserunner until Clint Barmes led off the sixth with single through the right side of the infield.“Honestly, when I was warming up (in the bullpen), I wasn’t throwing the ball where I wanted at all,” deGrom said. “So I said, ‘Oh no, I better get it under control when I get out there on the mound.’ I was focused and able to make pitches.”After the second or third inning, deGrom said, “I knew I could make pitches and able to make them on both sides of the plate.”After Barmes reached in the fifth, deGrom struck out rookie Austin Hedges and induced pinch-hitter Abraham Almonte to hit a grounder back to the mound. DeGrom started an inning-ending double play to shortstop Wilmer Flores.“This probably was one of the best games I’ve seen him pitch,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “His command tonight, changing speeds, he was really good.”DeGrom’s gem came on the three-year anniversary of Johan Santana’s no-hitter, the Mets’ first after 8,019 regular-season games.Will Middlebrooks had the Padres’ other hit — an infield single in the eighth — before Sean Gilmartin pitched the ninth to finish the two-hitter. DeGrom faced one batter over the minimum for eight innings.“He’s pitching with a lot of confidence, a lot of momentum tonight,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He was rolling, he was on.”DeGrom and Padres starter Andrew Cashner (2-8) combined to strike out eight straight batters from the last out in the top of the first through the first batter in the bottom of the second.Daniel Murphy had four hits, including a two-run homer, and drove in three runs as the Mets snapped a seven-game road losing streak.Ruben Tejada had three hits and scored twice. Darrell Ceciliani, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores each had an RBI single as New York amassed 13 hits.Murphy hit his homer off Cashner in a four-run fifth inning.DeGrom, who pitched into the eighth inning in three straight starts for the first time in his career, has allowed only three runs and struck out 34 over his last 29 1-3 innings while issuing one walk.Cashner established a couple of career highs as he struck out 12 but also gave up 11 hits. The right-hander allowed six runs — five earned — over 4 2-3 innings.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Dragons, Elvis and singing mayor surprise OCA general assembly

first_imgJakarta, Aug 19 (AFP) Olympic Council for Asia (OCA) delegates could be forgiven for thinking they had wandered into a Jakarta karaoke joint after being subjected to a surprise serenade on Sunday.The Japanese cities of Nagoya and Aichi will stage the 20th Asian Games in 2026.And during the joint hosts’ report to the OCA general assembly taking place on the sidelines of the 18th Asian Games, Nagoya mayor Takashi Kawamura stunned delegates first with a bizarre request and then a passable Elvis Presley impersonation.The representatives of 45 Asian countries probably couldn’t quite believe their ears when first Kawamura implored OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah to help him acquire two of Indonesia’s famous Komodo dragons for his city’s zoo.Kawamura then tried to drive home his plea by crooning his own version of Elvis’s hit “Can’t Help Falling in Love”.Only he changed the lyrics in front of the smiling, but slightly embarrassed, Kuwaiti Sheikh Ahmed to “I can’t help falling in love with Asian people and the Komodo dragon.” It was such a hard act to follow that Sheikh Ahmed quickly called for a coffee break in the day-long meeting of Asia’s top sports administrators at Jakarta’s Mulia Hotel.Earlier the OCA general assembly approved Sanya in China to be the venue of the sixth Asian Beach Games in 2020 and heard progress reports from Asia’s next two Olympics hosts, Tokyo 2020 and Beijing 2022.Sheikh Ahmad also presented the OCA Award to Indonesia’s Vice President, Jusuf Kalla, in recognition of his work in leading the organisation of the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games, which began with a spectacular opening ceremony on Saturday.advertisementSheikh Ahmad pointed out that Indonesia had organised the Games in under three years following the withdrawal of original host Vietnam.”Yesterday we witnessed the first success of the Games – the Opening Ceremony,” said Sheikh Ahmad. “There were a lot of difficulties to reach that goal.” On receiving the award, Kalla said the Games symbolised the commitment of the people of Asia to build a better world and embrace the Olympic spirit.”I hope these Asian Games will inspire and encourage all the athletes in the build-up to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo,” he said. (AFP) APAAPAlast_img read more

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