Don't be caught on Santa's naughty list: Canadians vulnerable to counterfeit purchases this holiday season

Don't be caught on Santa's naughty list: Canadians vulnerable to counterfeit 
purchases this holiday season 
Microsoft Canada survey reveals Canadians do not feel confident in their 
ability to identify counterfeit products 
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Dec. 5, 2012 /CNW/ - Eighty-four per cent of Canadians say 
they have not knowingly purchased a counterfeit product, yet a recent survey 
commissioned by Microsoft Canada, suggests that Canadians do not know where 
the risks really lie. 
Canadians are not confident they know how to identify the differences between 
counterfeit and genuine products. Less than half of the consumers surveyed 
felt they know how to identify counterfeit products such as albums/movies 
(43%), clothing (30%), computer software (28%), electronic devices (27%), 
handbags (24%) and sunglasses (21%). In fact, Canadians admit that it is 
increasingly difficult to identify illegitimate products with 38 per cent 
indicating price charged as the best indicator of a counterfeit product. Poor 
construction (21%) and off-brand logos (18%) were also key indicators. 
"Counterfeiting is real, it's out there and potentially at a store near you," 
said Lorne Lipkus, founding member of the Canadian Anti-Counterfeiting 
Network. "The counterfeiting and piracy industry is one of the largest and 
fastest growing industries in the world. Today's counterfeit operations are 
extremely advanced and often linked to organized crime. The risks to 
Canadian consumers both online and in-store are high due to lack of education 
on how to detect counterfeit products." 
There is also a misconception among consumers as to what the real threats 
are. Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians are concerned about purchasing 
counterfeit products online this holiday season, while only 35 per cent are 
worried about purchasing counterfeit in-store. Consumers need to recognize 
that it is possible to purchase illegitimate products both in-store and online 
and proactively take the initiative to identify the real from the fake, which 
can include everything from clothing to electronics, and medication to 
software. 
"Counterfeit crime and software piracy is a global problem both online and 
in-store. Canadians need to take extra precautions to educate themselves on 
what to look for to ensure they do not inadvertently buy illegitimate products 
when purchasing gifts this holiday season," said Chris Tortorice, Corporate 
Counsel, Anti-Piracy, Microsoft Canada Inc. "Microsoft offers resources to 
educate consumers on what to look for to ensure they are buying authentic 
Microsoft products. By providing resources like the www.howtotell.com website, 
we are helping protect customers around the world." 
One thing 77 per cent of Canadians agree upon is that they are not likely to 
buy counterfeit goods knowingly and are in tune with the risks associated with 
purchasing counterfeit products. Seventy-one per cent of Canadians agree 
that counterfeit goods are harmful to the economy. Additionally, Canadians 
agree that counterfeit products open them up to a number of personal risks 
such as productivity loss (77%), privacy breaches (72%), and personal injury 
(64%). 
When Kelly Henderson of Barrie, ON purchased Microsoft Office 2010 
Professional edition on an online auction website in June 2012, she never 
suspected she would be sold counterfeit software. "I was confident I was 
buying genuine Microsoft software from a reputable online reseller. The 
packaging looked authentic online," said Henderson. "It wasn't until the 
software failed to install that I realized I had been a victim of 
counterfeiting, potentially opening my computer up to malware and viruses. 
Luckily, I contacted Microsoft early or it could have caused a lot of damage." 
Here are some helpful tips, provided by Microsoft Canada, which consumers can 
use to help avoid buying counterfeit products: 


    --  Do your research— Take some time to find out what you're
        buying and who you're buying it from. Listen to word of mouth,
        check references, and get insight from experienced and trusted
        retailers.
    --  Compare the price - Everyone loves a good deal, but quality
        products are worth the extra cost. One secret when bargain
        shopping is making sure the sale is reasonable and not
        alarmingly low, which could be a potential red flag.
    --  Look for flaws - Counterfeiters might be good at producing
        replicas, but there are usually subtle differences in the
        packaging of the goods, sometime including spelling mistakes
        and other obvious errors. Pay close attention before you make
        the purchase.
    --  Use available resources - If you're questioning the legitimacy
        of a Microsoft product visit
        www.howtotell.com for
        more information and to report suspicious Microsoft software.

From November 20(th) to 21st, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 
1,501 Canadian adults who are also Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin 
of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 2.53%, 19 times 
out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender, region and education (and 
language in Quebec) according to the most recent census data. Discrepancies in 
or between totals are due to rounding.

About Microsoft Canada
Established in 1985, Microsoft Canada Inc. is the Canadian subsidiary of 
Microsoft Corporation (Nasdaq "MSFT") the worldwide leader in software, 
services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full 
potential. Microsoft Canada provides nationwide sales, marketing, consulting 
and local support services in both French and English. Headquartered in 
Mississauga, Microsoft Canada has nine regional offices across the country 
dedicated to empowering people through great software - any time, any place 
and on any device. For more information on Microsoft Canada, please visit 
www.microsoft.ca.

Allison Colalillo, on behalf of Microsoft Canada 
allison.colalillo@highroad.com 416-644-1644

SOURCE: Microsoft Canada Inc.

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CO: Microsoft Canada Inc.
ST: Ontario
NI: CPR ELE SOF ECOSURV 

-0- Dec/05/2012 15:30 GMT