BUFFALO, New York — The Better Business Bureau released a new study on the increase of counterfeit goods sold online. 

The report was assembled with the assistance of the data gathered by the Department of Homeland Security. At a Tuesday news conference, Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kelly emphasized the role consumers play in stopping the sale of counterfeit goods. 

One of the things Agent Kelly specifically mentioned the increase in counterfeit websites selling goods. He told 2 On Your Side that these websites are sometimes set up by crime rings as a way to fund other illegal activities.

"Unfortunately, there is no full-proof way of identifying a genuine article from a counterfeit article online. As criminal organizations and their illegitimate websites become more and more sophisticated, it becomes increasingly important for the consumer to be the first line of defense against these scams," he said. 

The Better Business Bureau recommends consumers avoid buying online from anyone other than the manufacturer. 

If a customer believes they were sold counterfeit goods, they should report it to the Better Business Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. 

For a refund, customers should first attempt to contact the seller. If a customer can't get a refund that way, they should their credit card company. 

The full study by the Better Business Bureau can be found here. 


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