Purchasing coupons for discounts on consumer goods through websites like eBay and Craigslist is not a new concept. However, through the efforts of Kessler's undercover operations, the company has learned that some of these coupons, while appearing identical to legitimate circulated coupons, are actually carefully constructed forgeries.
Consumers should be on alert: When a deal seems too good to be true, it usually is. Even details which include UPC codes, SKU codes, and magnetic stripes commonly seen on gift cards can all be counterfeited. Any and all merchandise is at risk, from low-ticket items like bras and DVDs to large expenses, including television sets and computers. And don't think the threat disappears when the holidays end: Kessler's investigation also revealed a large market for small-value coupons pertaining to foods, beverages, and various household items.
Monday's announcement by the Department of Justice that 150 websites were seized following an investigation into the sale of counterfeit goods is proof positive that there are plenty of nefarious individuals who aim to use the holidays and the increased spending that comes along with them to benefit themselves. The holidays should be about giving to those you love, and a little due diligence and awareness can go a long way to avoiding a monetary disaster.
If you're a business trying to asses a potential counterfeit coupon situation, or have already identified one and need to pinpoint the source of the forgeries, call Kessler International today, at 212-286-9100, or visit our website, at www.investigation.com.
About Kessler International
Kessler International provides forensic accounting services, discreet risk mitigation services, business intelligence and computer forensic services to corporations including financial and investment institutions, law firms and governments worldwide. With offices in New York, Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Washington, Illinois, Puerto Rico, Paris, Beijing and United Kingdom and affiliates throughout the world, Kessler International services the globe by providing the highest quality in forensic accounting services, high technology crime evaluation and prevention, civil and criminal litigation support, intellectual property protection, asset tracing, receivership, compliance and monitoring programs, business intelligence, and corporate risk management. Please visit our website at www.investigation.com for more information regarding our services.