Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 13:46 EDT

Don’t be caught on Santa’s naughty list: Canadians vulnerable to counterfeit purchases this holiday season

December 5, 2012

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

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.

“Counterfeit crime and software piracy is a global problem both online
and in-store. Canadians need to take extra precautions to educate
themselves on what to look for to ensure they do not inadvertently buy
illegitimate products when purchasing gifts this holiday season,” said
Chris Tortorice, Corporate Counsel, Anti-Piracy, Microsoft Canada Inc.
“Microsoft offers resources to educate consumers on what to look for to
ensure they are buying authentic Microsoft products. By providing
resources like the www.howtotell.com website, we are helping protect customers around the world.”

One thing 77 per cent of Canadians agree upon is that they are not
likely to buy counterfeit goods knowingly and are in tune with the
risks associated with purchasing counterfeit products.  Seventy-one per
cent of Canadians agree that counterfeit goods are harmful to the
economy. Additionally, Canadians agree that counterfeit products open
them up to a number of personal risks such as productivity loss (77%),
privacy breaches (72%), and personal injury (64%).

When Kelly Henderson of Barrie, ON purchased Microsoft Office 2010
Professional edition on an online auction website in June 2012, she
never suspected she would be sold counterfeit software. “I was
confident I was buying genuine Microsoft software from a reputable
online reseller. The packaging looked authentic online,” said
Henderson. “It wasn’t until the software failed to install that I
realized I had been a victim of counterfeiting, potentially opening my
computer up to malware and viruses. Luckily, I contacted Microsoft
early or it could have caused a lot of damage.”

Here are some helpful tips, provided by Microsoft Canada, which
consumers can use to help avoid buying counterfeit products:

        --  Do your research-- Take some time to find out what you're
            buying and who you're buying it from. Listen to word of mouth,
            check references, and get insight from experienced and trusted
        --  Compare the price - Everyone loves a good deal, but quality
            products are worth the extra cost. One secret when bargain
            shopping is making sure the sale is reasonable and not
            alarmingly low, which could be a potential red flag.
        --  Look for flaws - Counterfeiters might be good at producing
            replicas, but there are usually subtle differences in the
            packaging of the goods, sometime including spelling mistakes
            and other obvious errors. Pay close attention before you make
            the purchase.
        --  Use available resources - If you're questioning the legitimacy
            of a Microsoft product visit
            www.howtotell.com for
            more information and to report suspicious Microsoft software.

From November 20(th) to 21st, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1,501
Canadian adults who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin
of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 2.53%, 19 times
out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender, region and education
(and language in Quebec) according to the most recent census data.
Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq “MSFT”) the worldwide leader in software,
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
full potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing,
consulting and local support services in both French and English.
Headquartered in Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional
offices across the country dedicated to empowering people through great
software – any time, any place and on any device. For more information
on Microsoft Canada, please visit www.microsoft.ca.

SOURCE Microsoft Canada Inc.

Source: PR Newswire