Counterfeit things you hear about regularly: counterfeit money, counterfeit designer bags, counterfeit high-end watches…the list goes on.
And now you can add counterfeit beauty products to that list!
A MASSIVE counterfeit beauty product ring was recently busted for selling fake products under brand names. To get a sense of the size and scale of this operation, reports claim authorities seized over $2 MILLION in products — and that’s only the stuff they could immediately get their hands on!!
Investigators are still looking into bank accounts to ascertain the scale of the operation, which was run by brothers Pardeep Malik (age 59) and Hamant Mullick (age 60).
District Attorney Kathleen Rice released a statement on the seriousness of the matter, saying:
"Health and beauty products like lip balms, oils, shampoos and inhalers are highly regulated in order to protect consumers, but these defendants are charged with going around those protections and stealing the brands of major corporations that comply with the law. These actions can endanger the public."
The brothers have been imitating items like ChapStick, Johnson's Baby Oil, Vicks VapoRub, Vicks Inhaler, Vaseline, Always sanitary pads, over-the-counter cold medicines, and painkillers.
The imitations were distributed mostly on the East Coast (the brothers were based in NY).
So what does that mean for customers who may have unknowingly bought a fake?
A spokesman for Procter & Gamble says:
"We encourage consumers to be cautious about buying branded goods that look suspicious, or from outlets that are unfamiliar."
According to prosecutors, the operation may be the biggest know counterfeit ring in the U.S. It may also be the only known counterfeit manufacturing operation of its type in America.
Here are more tips from authorities to use for identifying fakes:
“Look for signs such as strange pictures on the package or strange colors or typeface. Some sophisticated knockoffs may be hard to detect, but the price may be atypically low. Counterfeits will not have the same quality or consistency of real products. Shop at established and trusted stores, which are likely to be connected to legitimate supply chains.”
Definitely double-check any beauty or health products you have or have seen that fit the above description.
Who knows what the perpetrators put in that stuff!
Tags: baby oil, beauty buzz, beauty products, busted, busted!, chapstick, counterfeit, counterfeit beauty product ring, crazzzzy, drugs, east coast, gifs, hamant mullick, icky icky poo, new york, pardeep malik, vaseline