Cheap cosmetic prices may smell of counterfeit products, FBI warns

Find some expensive perfume or other cosmetics at an unbelievably low price? The deal might turn out to be too good to be true. The products might also be harmful according to the FBI, which recently issued a warning that counterfeit cosmetics can contain hazardous chemicals.cosmetic

According to the FBI:

  • Phony cosmetics often contain things such as arsenic, beryllium, and cadmium which are known carcinogens (cancer-causing agent), as well as high levels of aluminum and dangerous levels of bacteria. Some products have caused conditions like acne, psoriasis, rashes, and eye infections.
  • Counterfeit fragrances have been found to contain a chemical called DEHP, classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as a probable human carcinogen.
  • Phony perfumes and colognes, which sometimes contain urine as well, have been known to cause serious skin rashes.

Signs that cosmetics might not be the real deal:

  • The packaging differs slightly from the authentic brand in details such as coloring or lettering, and/or the product’s wrapping appears haphazard.
  • The product is being advertised as a “limited edition” even though the authentic manufacturer doesn’t offer it as a limited edition.
  • The price is either slightly or drastically lower.
  • For cosmetics, the product’s consistency or texture just doesn’t feel or look like the authentic brand.
  • For fragrances, there’s something a little off about the scent, and the color of the fluid in the bottle might be different than the original.
  • For both products, they’re being sold at non-authorized retailers, including flea markets, mall kiosks, and over the Internet.

The FBI recommends contacting the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) if you think you know someone who has purchased or may be selling counterfeit fragrances and cosmetics.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Cheap cosmetic prices may smell of counterfeit products, FBI warns

  1. Mark Burrows

    Oh? And some of the highly expensive brand name cosmetics are not free of chemicals and dangerous toxins? They might like to claim so, but such chemicals are needed to allow ingredients to bond together and to have a dazzling effect.
    In my younger days I was enthusiactically involved in theater and did my share of summer stock. Stage make up was critical because there are no close ups and you have to make a statement to the people in the back row. Therefore, it is layered on extremely thick. Due to all sorts of various skin allergies that could and would pop up to actors, stage make up was one of the most expensive non plant based medicated cosmetic around. It not only had to not create any reaction, but it had to treat any current open sores. Well, we didn’t have any perfumes in our cosmetics since that is still always a personal choice, but it is preferred that people just show up clean and soapy smelling in the theater world. They can touch up their scent later in the Green Room after production.
    Still I have digressed, my point is, already when it comes to cosmetics, there are those who are willing to have a ratified form of Botulinum Toxin simply known as Botox, injected into their lips, and around their eyes to look more attractive. Yes, true, it is a benign form of the most acutely toxic substance known, but so are cancer cells that we all have that wait to be triggered or started by the such things that science and doctors tell us will start cells to grow at a rapid rate.
    To further my point, since the dawn of modern cosmetics of the 20th century, most of such cosmetics where sold across countless counter tops, and it was only until we started getting warned about dangers of this and that, manufactures who fell into the realm of political correctness, felt it was their duty to remove such this and that ingredients before some one claimed that they got sick because of their product and sued them.
    Still many tried, but not many were actually proven. In the end, billions of dollars were wasted trying to accuse manufactures of causing grief, where most of the cases were scams that were trying to cash in. Sure, they were ill, but if they used a product, let’s try and cash in.
    Okay, I’m not happy about selling under a products name, that is illegal, but they should just sell under their own brand name, and print warnings on their package like everyone else and not claim responsibility for other people’s risks. Why pretend?
    It’s like a lot of these fake Rolex watches. You take them apart and they actually have genuine Swiss moving parts. There is no quartz movement going on. I sometimes suspect that Rolex finds flawed watches and tosses them aside and others grab them up and market them. I know this is not true, because some of the Rolex fakes are quartz movement. I have a Swiss movement fake, but I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing it, The faceplate actually says Rodex. Yet, I keep it on a novelty shelf and wind it when I pass it by and it is reliable withing a second. But then I bought that one way back in the 70s when the trend was whispered about.
    Point again, I knew then I was buying something for the pure novelty of it. I wore it then because it was a novelty, Then when it was no longer such, it was put on a shelf of oddities that my grown children fight over when they come about, as to who will get what when I kick it. I shake my head, they are going to be real sore at me when the will is read. But hey, I taught them not to be materialistic possessive of what others have. If they want something, go out and earn it.
    Back to the point. If people wish to take risk and wear cosmetics that could be dangerous, that’s their choice. If they are buying it under a branded name, then they are an accomplice to pirate marketing and under the same laws that apply to those who are charged with illegal downloads of music, movies, and software, they should be as guilty of buying under the pretense of products sold under a brand name that does not carry the quality assurance of said brand.

    Mark Burrows

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