The Buy Safe America Coalition, a group of retailers, consumer groups and manufacturers backing efforts to combat organized retail crime and protect consumers and communities from counterfeit and stolen goods, has as new members CVS Health, Ulta Beauty and Walgreens, along with Dutch multinational conglomerate Philips and the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
Existing members include the Personal Care Products Council and Consumer Healthcare Products Association.
Sale of fraudulent beauty and personal care products have long been a problem on online marketplaces, but the problem has become worse recently, with more Americans shopping by computer. According to brand protection experts, counterfeit beauty and personal care products sold online have soared 56% in 2020 alone.
A report from the Department of Homeland Security found that counterfeit cosmetics and other beauty products can contain such dangerous ingredients as arsenic, mercury, aluminum or lead, ultimately risking consumer health and safety.
“As a leader among retailers in combating online marketplace fraud, we take a zero-tolerance approach to this type of activity,” noted John Liesching, VP, asset protection for Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based CVS Health. “While we are proud of the investments and the progress we have made, stolen and counterfeit products in online marketplaces remain too widespread. We recognize the importance of working together to protect consumers across the country.”
The Washington, D.C.-based coalition is encouraging Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, update consumer protection laws by requiring online marketplaces to collect and verify basic seller information, and require sellers to provide such information to shoppers.