Fast-Fakes and Super-Fakes: Brands Need to Adjust Their Anti-Counterfeiting Strategies

Not only the fashion industry experiences a trend of differentiated counterfeiting business. On the one hand, there is a tendency of “fast-fakes”. Counterfeiting cycles are getting shorter and forgers are quickly dumping simple and recognizable copies of low quality seasonal goods on the market. The response of original manufacturers is not very challenging in such a case: most brands limit their measures to the deletion of the counterfeiters’ online offers, because the legal prosecution is too slow. But with the start of the next season, counterfeiters’ business will flourish again.

On the other hand, we observe the growth of what counterfeiters themselves call “super fakes”, “triple-A fakes”, or as in the example in picture, “AAAA+ top high quality replica”. Those are almost unrecognizable as fakes, and often enter the original supply chain and are even sold in the flagship stores of famous luxury brands. Counterfeiters deliver the fake products with correct serial numbers, accurate manuals, original software (hacked, stolen or acquired through social engineering), and ingenious packaging.

Original manufacturers in industries plagued by counterfeiting answer with even more technical protection measures. Latest example: the scientists at the University of Copenhagen have invented a new marking system based on patterns of sand. The system makes use of three rare earth lanthanides, each of which glows under a different wavelength of light: europium, terbium and dysprosium. As it is based on randomness of the pattern, it is impossible to be manipulated. Furthermore, the number of anti-counterfeiting applications using the blockchain technology is growing.

The question is whether the enormous effort required for such protection technologies is still worthwhile. Super-counterfeiters can only be stopped by a holistic approach with investigations, evidence and legal actions with the claim of damages.

To learn more on holistic anti-counterfeiting, visit

Picture: Website of a “AAA Replica Wholesale Supplier” EC Global Trade

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