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Online fakes are a relatively common scam

The Internet makes it easier than ever to find the products you want. Often, you can also find great deals on those products.

After all, it's the opposite of the effect you see in a baseball stadium or a movie theater, where the absolute lack of competition means they can charge whatever they want for food and drinks. On the Internet, the competition is never-ending. This pushes prices down farther than you'll find anywhere else, in many instances. Even a shopping mall with dozens of stores has less competition than the Internet.

One problem that has created, though, is that the Internet makes it easier to run a common scam selling fake goods. They're real products, just not the name brand ones you think you're buying. That Rolex watch is really just a cheap imitation, just made well enough to look like the real thing in photos. There's also the chance that the photos themselves are real, but the product that arrives at your door a week later won't be the same one you thought you ordered.

The Internet puts distance between buyers and sellers. You can't try something on before you pay for it. You can't hold that watch and see all of the imperfections marking it as a fake. You may not be scammed in person, but that's not all that important if you're shopping online and you don't even realize you're being scammed until the money is long gone.

Instances of consumer fraud can be infuriating. It's important to know what options you have, especially in complex cases involving online sales.

Source: FindLaw, "Selling Fakes Online," accessed March 02, 2018

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