More Tips to Spot Counterfeit Respirators
Updated May 26, 2021
Before buying respirators from third-party market places or unfamiliar websites, look for the following possible warning signs:
- If a listing claims to be “legitimate” and “genuine,” it likely is not.
- Look at the transaction history and reviews if possible.
- Most auction sites or third-party distributors have a link to the seller of the item and their past sales.
- Many buyers will leave reviews about their experience or quality of the product.
- Are there changes to the items sold over time (high or low periods of transaction?)
- Is the seller marketing the same products over time, or are they mainly selling trending items? Legitimate businesses and suppliers typically sell the same items over time.
- A buyer can view this by looking at the businesses’ other products. Buyers should also be able to learn more about sellers on big online platforms (reviews of the seller).
- Are there price changes or swings (Is it too good to be true?)
- Look at the quantity a buyer has in stock.
- During a time of shortage, advertising “unlimited stock” could indicate the respirator is not NIOSH approved.
- Does the seller break marketplace policy and hide their contact information within images?
- Typical third-party marketplaces require the seller and buyer to interact within an on-site messaging system. Sellers should not try to bypass this system to display personal contact information.
On websites – look at the big picture
- Is the primary contact email address connected to the website or is it a free email account?
- Using a free email service may suggest the seller is not part of the company.
- Look for bad grammar, typos, and other errors.
- Watch for cookie-cutter websites, where the sellers interchange several websites, making mistakes:
- Mixing up names/logos
- Leaving the site partially undone with dummy text
- Blank pages
- Domain squatting type activity (misspell the domain).
Page last reviewed: May 26, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health