COVID-19: Number of counterfeit vaccine brands and fake vaccination certificates on the increase

While the vaccination campaign in Germany has picked up speed in the second quarter of 2021, reports of counterfeit vaccines, vaccination certificates, and COVID-19 test results have also increased recently. In April, dozens of doses of allegedly the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine were confiscated in Poland and Mexico and subsequently proved to be merely a cosmetic substance. According to IAVCworld, the market for counterfeit vaccination certificates is also growing on the darknet. Recently, security experts discovered more than 1,200 pages of dubious offers. This is also problematic in view of the planned introduction of a digital COVID-19 vaccination certificate, as the data on vaccinations that have already taken place should be transferrable from the paper version.

Advanced safety labeling for drugs, as well as digital and physical documents and products, can be used to minimize the health risks posed by counterfeit vaccines and increase confidence in the vaccination campaign.

(Photo from Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels)

Infamous prize for brazen counterfeiters

If you want to spot differences between counterfeited and original products here, you’ll need to look very closely. Since 1977, the Plagiarius Association has been awarding its infamous ’Plagiarius’ prize – a black dwarf with a golden nose – to the most brazen counterfeiters. The aim of the initiative is to pillory intellectual property thieves for their crimes, thereby raising awareness among politicians and industry, but above all among consumers, of the problem of brand and product piracy.

After all, counterfeit products do not just cause enormous economic damage to the manufacturers of the original products, but consumers will typically not be able to enjoy their purchase for very long either! Upon closer inspection, major quality differences in terms of material, workmanship, and functionality quickly become apparent.

If you want to give consumers the certainty that they are purchasing a high-quality original, you should focus on sustainable product protection. Feel free to contact us for an early look at our flexible security solutions against counterfeitproducts.

Taking action against brand and product pirates

Counterfeited products cause damage worth tens of billions worldwide every year! In the fight against product and brand piracy, the European Observatory on Intellectual Property Violations is once again drawing attention to the importance of available technologies with the new ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Technology Guide.’ The guide is aimed at retailers and manufacturers, including small and medium-sized enterprises, who want to implement counterfeit protection solutions and develop an effective security strategy. Measures from all basic areas are presented in detail: Electronic technologies (such as RFID or NFC labels); visual security elements (such as holograms, watermarks, or microtexts); chemical, physical, and mechanical possibilities (such as security labels); and technologies for digital products.

KURZ has over 40 years of experience in the field of security solutions and offers modular concepts for maximum protection against product and brand piracy.

Flood of fakes: Counterfeit smartphones and accessories on social networks

Smartphones of the latest generation are desirable, but they are too expensive for many consumers, especially for Apple products and the like. Not surprisingly, the business with fake appliances and accessories has been booming for years. What’s more, Facebook and Instagram have introduced their own marketplaces for their users. As a result, the sale of counterfeit products is increasingly shifting to social networks. In 2020 alone, Apple discovered around one million posts featuring counterfeited products and had them removed.

For manufacturers, counterfeit consumer electronics and accessories mean enormous economic and image damage. And, in the worst case, they are hazardous to the health of the consumer: There have already been reports of exploding batteries or chargers. This makes it all the more important for manufacturers to ensure reliable product protection and security solutions against brand piracy, for example by using KURZ security labels. Both our RFID and NFC labels provide proof of authenticity and are tamper evident.

Damage to the economy and a risk to health

Louisville, USA, February 2021: Customs and Border Protection seized a shipment of 1,570 counterfeit luxury goods featuring labels by brands such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Mickey Mouse. The estimated total price of the corresponding genuine goods would be over $821,000! Customs authorities repeatedly report such alarming figures of confiscated counterfeits. Officials also regularly catch out brand and product pirates in Germany; a recent discovery by the Wetzlar Customs Office is alarming evidence that counterfeit products not only cause enormous economic damage but, in the worst case, also pose a risk to health: Two consignments with a total of 140,000 FFP2 masks and medical face masks were seized. Customs officials’ doubts about the proper labelling and conformity with the certificates presented, and thus ultimately the safety of the goods, were quickly confirmed. The FFP2 masks have been classified as a ‘dangerous product’ due to their too high permeability!