Police say people are so keen to save money, they’ll even risk their health and safety by buying fake goods.
RCMP Inspector Todd Gilmore, who tries to catch counterfeiters in the Greater Toronto Area, says the buying and selling of bogus goods is a serious problem that’s getting worse.
Recently, he said, a woman had to visit the hospital after she suffered an allergic reaction to fake MAC cosmetics she bought at a Mississauga flea market.
Gilmore says people are buying fake prescription drugs, often sold over the Internet, improperly made electronics such as extension cords or computer parts, and even knock off toothpaste.
want a deal. They want it cheap, he said. isn any regard for quality or safety. canada goose parka Who knows what is in it? weekend, officers were at the same Mississauga flea market to ensure fake makeup wasn being sold again. They saw so many fake DVDs, they starting seizing them.
people were still coming up, while we were there in uniform, wanting to buy them, Gilmore said. an ethical question that consumers have to ask themselves. What purpose does it have for someone to walk around with a fake Burberry purse?
fake. The only person you kidding is yourself, he said. do you convince consumers to buy the real thing? sale of counterfeit goods in Canada is significant, with business estimating it costs as much as $30 billion a year.
Other items have included fake Red Bull drinks and Sidney Crosby jerseys, with shoddy stitching.
Counterfeiting is so prevalent, Gilmore said, that an investigation of close to 1,000 Canadiens jersey wearing fans in Montreal showed 80 per cent were fake.
Canada Goose, the high end winter parka company, says counterfeiters are becoming so bold they are now raising their prices to retail prices, said Kevin Spreekmeester, vice president of global marketing.
It has hired a company that searches the web daily, looking for rogue sites that sell its fakes.
Internet is the new flea market, he said.
Spreekmeester said his company has tested some knock offs and found feather mulch that can contain mould and feces.
could actually get sick from it, he said, adding the material won keep people warm.
While there are few available statistics, organized crime is believed to be linked to most counterfeiting in Canada. The largest recent fine in the Toronto area was $60,000, which criminal organizations would probably chalk up to the cost of doing business.
more lucrative than the drug trade, said Gilmore. profit margins are more profitable and there less risk. laws are seen as not as vigorous as other countries.
expect it will be introduced in the fall, said Chris Gray, director of intellectual property at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. a majority government, it should be a little easier to push the ball up the hill. 2003 to 2008, the RCMP investigated 1,500 cases of counterfeiting, seizing about $64 million in fake goods. But limited resources means the RCMP concentrates on items that put the health or safety of Canadians at risk, not the purses or clothes.
In May, RCMP officers arrested a man after they seized fake Viagra and Cialis pills worth $1 million on the street as well as containers full of fake luxury goods from boots to jeans, worth $5 million.