Consumers often want very simple and clear instructions on how to avoid product fraud, including food fraud. We experts often don’t have a good response. This problem led to our development of our consumer resource that we refer to as the “5 Word Survey.” (These questions actually help companies when they think about their own procurement and purchasing vulnerabilities.)
This Primer for Consumers to Avoid Product Fraud was created by the Food Fraud Prevention Think Tank to provide actionable and straightforward prevention steps. Since product fraud is getting harder to detect, the most critical step for consumers is to realize when they are vulnerable and how to take precautions in those sensitive situations. These five simple questions help reduce the fraud opportunity, and are summarized in one word each in the “5 Word Survey.”
Consumer Questions to reduce their vulnerability – to reduce the fraud opportunity:
- What type of product? Be especially careful of what you put in you, on you, or plug into the wall.
- Would you recognize a variation in quality from a substandard or counterfeit product?
- Do you have an ongoing and successful relationship with the supplier/retailer?
- How did you find the online supplier…did you find them from a reputable source?
- Complain to the supplier or retailer! If they’re legitimate then they will want to know (remember to save a sample!).
For more details see the attached “Primer for Consumer Product Fraud Prevention (5 Word Survey).”