Even so, the ATA Board of Directors knows it’s in a long-term fight. As Ross noted during the seminar, counterfeiters today are skilled criminals. Their imitations closely resemble authentic products, they use photos of authentic products in online advertising, and they know how to price their imitations just low enough to not arouse suspicions.
“A few years ago, you knew a product was likely counterfeit if it cost half as much as the real thing,” Ross said. “You knew it was too good to be true. Today, they’ve learned that if they sell a product for 10 percent off, people think it’s legitimate. Unfortunately, once the customer receives it and it fails, they blame the legitimate manufacturer.”
Ross said his agency is working hard to cut off counterfeiters. For instance, it has severed over 300,000 links on social media that were once conduits for counterfeiters. It also urges banks and credit-card companies to take down payment platforms for operations identified as counterfeiters. Further, it asks the U.S. Post Office and shipping companies like UPS ad FedEx to not pick up packages from identified counterfeiters.
“We need everyone’s help with this,” Ross said. “We can’t seize or arrest our way out of this problem. This isn’t just a government problem. It’s a problem for everyone, and requires everyone’s awareness and cooperation.”