28 June, 2019

Transported by fakes.

When one thinks of counterfeit items, the obvious items such as branded luxury articles come straight to mind. Less known counterfeit items include fake food stuffs, and to a much lesser extent, consumers are not fully aware of the growing industry of counterfeit transport related products. Such fake products are less common when compared to other counterfeit items, but they can have considerable impacts on the consumers, especially in terms of their safety and loss of income. The increasing number of fake travel tickets, counterfeit expensive cars and knock off car parts, cheaper manufacturing in Third World countries and the popularity of the online deep web is making this illicit industry boom.

Not so luxurious cars

Most people dream of owning a luxury car at least once in their lifetime. Unlike most other luxury products such as watches, clothes, and accessories, expensive cars are not something that consumers on an average income can purchase multiple times. As such, it would be quite devastating to realise that some consumer may actually be buying a supposed luxury car that was created using cheaper parts.

This scenario is common across parts of Europe, such as a recent raid by Spanish police that arrested three individual caught manufacturing and selling fake Ferraris, Aston Martins, and Lamborghini sports cars that were assembled with Toyota parts. The problem with such fake sports cars is that they can fetch a pretty decent price when sold online, so consumers can be easily duped into purchasing them when they see a convincing photograph on their screen. As with most counterfeit luxury items, the devil is in the detail, and the same can be said when buying a Lamborghini or Ferrari.

Free airline tickets, but no planes 

Travelling on an airplane is no longer the commodity that it used to be a couple of decades ago. With factors such as low cost airlines, freedom of movement between EU Member States, and easier VISA programmes, passengers are travelling more frequently by plane. And despite the fact that travelers today are more in tune with how airlines operate, there are still a lot of scams that involve airline tickets going around.

In their most basic form, some companies might offer counterfeited airline tickets with the aim of making potential victims pay some kind of deposit or insurance. In some cases, fake airline tickets have been used by cyber criminals as a means of phishing information from their victim’s devices. There have also been cases reported in the US that indicate that travel agencies had been used discounted travel tickets as a hook to attract new customers to their businesses!

Unexpected fake train tickets 

A recent investigation conducted by the BBC has reported that a number of forged rail tickets were being sold on the ‘dark web’, and being used at multiple train stations across the UK successfully. These counterfeit tickets actually work, and have been created with the intent of creating a more ‘affordable public service’ to counter expensive train ticket prices. However, there is always the risk that someone starts selling actual fake tickets to consumers, who would end up footing the price for the crime.

Unsafe car parts

One of the greatest problems with counterfeit car parts is the risk of safety issues. Many automotive experts argue that it is imperative for drivers to source legitimate spare parts when fixing their cars, and avoiding second hand ones or cheaper versions.

This message was recently echoed by Hyundai Motors America, who showcased the potential lethal effect that a fake airbag can have on a passenger. The same can be said for a wide range of important car parts, such as tyres, engine parts, and other safety features.

Consumer education about their rights is important

When it comes to counterfeit transport products, retailers and dealers seem to have the upper hand in providing their clients with less than original items. As such, it is important that consumers are educated about their rights so that they know what to expect when buying tickets, vehicles, or spare parts from authorised dealers.

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