Local News

State official gives warning signals, advice for safe shopping season

Posted November 26, 2019 9:26 p.m. EST
Updated November 26, 2019 11:52 p.m. EST

— If you’re bargain hunting for the holiday shopping season, you want to watch out for fake products.

Chances are we’re all looking for the perfect gift for the perfect price. But nowadays with fake products popping up in stores and online, NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall says if something looks or sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Signs of the holiday shopping season are here.

"I'm a sucker for Black Friday deals, so I have my eye on a couple of things," said holiday shopper Carly Hilleyard.

"I don't do the online shopping thing," said another shopper, Michelle McDuffie. I prefer to actually see the product and make sure it's the product I'd like to buy."

State officials say that if you’re not careful, there’s a chance you could buy a counterfeit item.

NC Secretary of State Elaine Marshall showed WRAL's Ken Smith a number of common products that look real -- but are fakes.

Holiday shopping

"With computers and 3D printing and mechanized sewing, a lot of things can be fake that couldn't have been fake (in the past)," Marshall told Smith. "The fakes are very, very good these days."

So how do you avoid buying fake products?

Marshall recommends buying from retailers you know and trust.

Be on the lookout for misspellings on products and packaging.

If you’re shopping online, make sure the photo of the product you want is real. It’s even worth asking the buyer for more photos.

"If I'm buying from a third-party site that isn't verified by one of those companies, just always do a little research," Hilleyard said. "A little Google search can go a long way in preventing something bad from happening."

Our commenting policy has changed. If you would like to comment, please share on social media using the icons below and comment there.