MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) -Shopping online is just easy and convenient. The Better Business Bureau says 80 percent of Americans shop on the internet.
Sadly, this also gives scammers one more way to get a hold of your hard-earned money.
"One big thing that is happening, and it's costing retailers and manufacturers up to $250 billion a year, is counterfeit products,” said David Smitherman with the Better Business Bureau.
So, when you hop online what should you look for? Items like cell phones, cups, makeup, sunglasses, jewelry, even medication can all be fake. Consumer experts say most of these products come from China and support organized crime.
One of the biggest ways to avoid counterfeit products, shop on sites you recognize and make sure the company name and everything else is spelled right.
"They are not always a cheap product. We used to say if it was an extremely low price, for a high brand item is likely a counterfeit. That's not really the case anymore."
So, if you buy a "fake" what should you do? First off contact the company and ask for a refund, that may work sometimes. Also, make sure to use a credit card, not a debit card. It's a lot easier to get the charges reversed with a credit card.
You can always check out specific companies at the Better Business Bureau website.