Press Release


Consumers still being caught out as almost a quarter of online shoppers are duped by counterfeiters

85 percent feel brands should be doing more to protect customers from unintentional counterfeit purchases

San Francisco, CA: December 15, 2016 - New research from MarkMonitor®, the world leader in enterprise brand protection, reveals that 23 percent of consumers have unwillingly bought a fake product online — with a higher than average proportion falling into the 18 to 34 year old millennial age group.

Of those that were duped, 71 percent said the experience had a negative impact on their perception of the genuine brand, with 59 percent saying they were more cautious when interacting with the company in future, and 12 percent saying they wouldn’t buy from that brand again. In addition, 32 percent didn’t take any action upon discovering they were duped, while 29 percent complained to the company that owned the brand.

Purchasing counterfeit goods is a key concern for shoppers, especially as online shopping increases during the holiday season, with 51 percent of consumers worrying about unknowingly buying a fake. Security remains top of mind as similar research, commissioned last year by MarkMonitor showed 64 percent of respondents were anxious about their online security. This year the number has increased to 78 percent having concerns about shopping online — with 42 percent stating they worried about the security of their personal details and bank cards.

The research also shows that 85 percent of consumers worldwide believe brands should be doing more to protect them from buying counterfeit products. However, the research also revealed that of those consumers that were duped, 10 percent sought advice from the real brand once they realized their product was fake.

“Counterfeiting and the availability of counterfeit products online is a threat to both brands and consumers. These cybercriminals are becoming increasingly more sophisticated in their approach. As a result, consumers need to be vigilant when shopping online, and brands must evolve their protection strategies to reduce the risk while taking steps to educate their customers,” says Mark Frost, CEO, MarkMonitor.

“What this research reinforces is that more customers are looking to brands to advise and help them understand the counterfeiting issue. It demonstrates that the appetite for willingly buying these types of goods just isn’t that strong. But despite that, consumers are still falling victim to counterfeiters.”

Almost three quarters of consumers said they wouldn’t willingly buy a fake in the future, 14 percent weren’t sure and 12 percent said they would go ahead. The main reason for not buying counterfeit goods was that people prefer the real item according to 47 percent of the respondents. Consumers have also been the recipients of fake goods as gifts, with nine percent of the respondents saying they had received one for Christmas.

The research was conducted on behalf of MarkMonitor by leading market research agency Opinium. A total of 3,432 respondents from nine countries — U.K., U.S., Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands — were surveyed online in November 2016.

To read the full 2016 report, please visit:


Holly Rees
The Whiteoaks Consultancy
+44 (0)1252 727313



MarkMonitor, the leading enterprise brand protection solution and a Clarivate Analytics flagship brand, provides advanced technology and expertise that protects the revenues and reputations of the world's leading brands. In the digital world, brands face new risks due to the Web's anonymity, global reach and shifting consumption patterns for digital content, goods and services. Customers choose MarkMonitor for its unique combination of advanced technology, comprehensive protection and extensive industry relationships to address their brand infringement risks and preserve their marketing investments, revenues and customer trust. For more information, visit


Clarivate Analytics accelerates the pace of innovation by providing trusted insights and analytics to customers around the world, enabling them to discover, protect and commercialize new ideas faster. Formerly the Intellectual Property and Science business of Thomson Reuters, we own and operate a collection of leading subscription-based services focused on scientific and academic research, patent analytics and regulatory standards, pharmaceutical and biotech intelligence, trademark protection, domain names, brand protection and intellectual property management. Clarivate Analytics is now an independent company with over 4,000 employees, operating in more than 100 countries and owns well-known brands that include Web of Science, Cortellis, Thomson Innovation, Derwent World Patents Index, CompuMark, MarkMonitor and Techstreet, among others. For more information, visit


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