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Beyond the Transaction: Every Transaction Has a Story

Safeguarding Consumers from Counterfeit Goods

As e-commerce options have grown exponentially, consumers are increasingly buying everything from food to medicine, apparel to designer goods through online retailers and marketplaces. While the vast majority of purchases online result in a satisfied customer, occasionally cardholders inadvertently purchase an inferior “fake” product.

Most consumers encounter counterfeits in the world of designer goods, where handbags, shoes and sunglasses are offered at steep discounts – but turn out to be fakes. These purchases can result in consumers feeling like they were cheated. Even more concerning, counterfeit pharmaceuticals, contact lenses, car parts, electronics, batteries and others are more than just substandard quality – they raise very real safety concerns.

At Mastercard, we want every commerce engagement to be simple, safe and secure, and we take strong actions to protect consumers from unwanted counterfeit purchases.

In fact, we have an ongoing partnership with the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (IACC), whose 250-plus participating Intellectual Property (IP) rights holders from 40+ countries notify Mastercard of unauthorized sales online. Once we learn of this activity, we take immediate action. Just last month, we worked with the IACC and our partners to combat the sale of counterfeit goods through an online marketplace, and were pleased to help resolve the issue quickly – helping keep fake goods out of the hands of unsuspecting shoppers.

Working directly with organizations like the IACC is just one of the ways that we protect cardholders from getting ripped off by counterfeit goods. We offer dispute resolution rights for cardholders who purchase counterfeit goods—and encourage consumers who have evidence that they purchased a fake to reach out to their issuing bank—and protect cardholders from fraud through policies such as Zero Liability.