A Closer Look at 2023: Trends and Tactics in Apparel Scams.


Apparel scams, a nefarious facet of online commerce, continue to plague consumers worldwide, leaving a trail of financial loss and disillusionment in their wake. In 2023 alone, global losses attributed to fashion scams amounted to a staggering $48 billion, underscoring the magnitude of this pervasive issue. Shockingly, research reveals that approximately 20% of fashion products advertised on social media platforms are counterfeit, illustrating the extent to which unsuspecting shoppers are targeted by fraudulent schemes. However, it's not just consumers who suffer the consequences. The brands themselves bear a significant burden when their products are counterfeited. Beyond financial losses, counterfeit goods erode brand reputation and consumer trust. Moreover, they undermine the authenticity and integrity that companies work tirelessly to cultivate.

The landscape of apparel scams is constantly evolving as scammers innovate and adapt to new technologies and consumer behaviors. As we navigate through this intricate web of deceit, it becomes evident that vigilance and awareness are our best defense against falling victim to these fraudulent practices, so let's review the apparel scams that were trending in 2023.

Website Scams

  1. Geo-Targeting:  Scammers leverage geo-targeting to restrict access to their fraudulent websites, often limiting visibility to specific countries or regions. Unsuspecting users from targeted areas may be lured into believing the legitimacy of these sites, only to fall victim to counterfeit goods or identity theft. This tactic preys on users' trust in localized content, making them more susceptible to deception. Moreover, it is also intended to make the scam harder to detect, especially for brand protection providers who monitor the brand online. Since these providers typically focus on a specific country or region, the geo-targeting strategy employed by scammers can evade detection, allowing the fraudulent websites to operate under the radar for extended periods.

  2. Typosquatting: A classic yet effective scam, typosquatting involves registering domain names that closely resemble popular apparel brands but contain slight misspellings. Unwary shoppers may inadvertently land on these deceptive sites while typing in URLs, falling prey to counterfeit merchandise or phishing schemes. This tactic capitalizes on users' typographical errors and reliance on search engines, leading them astray with seemingly legitimate but ultimately fraudulent websites.

  3. Duplicated Site: The replication of legitimate apparel websites is a prevalent tactic employed by scammers. These phishing sites meticulously mimic the appearance and functionality of authentic platforms, deceiving users into divulging sensitive information or making purchases that never materialize.

  4. Sub-domains: Scammers exploit sub-domains by creating seemingly relevant ones on legitimate domains without the owner's knowledge. By incorporating familiar elements like brand names or product categories into the URL structure, they deceive users into trusting the fraudulent sub-domain. This tactic capitalizes on users' familiarity with trusted domains, increasing the likelihood of falling for the scam

Social Media Scams

  1. Account Names Without the Brand Name: Fraudulent accounts on social media platforms often operate under names devoid of any association with the actual apparel brand. These accounts disseminate fake advertisements, enticing users with enticing offers that lead to counterfeit products or financial fraud.

  2.  Misleading Ad Images: Scammers utilize misleading ad images that prominently feature brand names or logos, despite the absence of any affiliation with the legitimate brand. For example, in some cases, the ad images may prominently display the brand name or logo, yet upon further investigation, it becomes evident that the account behind the advertisement lacks any association with the genuine brand. This tactic aims to instill trust and credibility in unsuspecting consumers, ultimately leading them astray. 

  3. Fake Ads from Hacked Accounts: Hackers compromise legitimate social media accounts and exploit them to disseminate fake advertisements for apparel products. These ads, seemingly endorsed by reputable sources, lure users into clicking on malicious links or making purchases from fraudulent websites.

  4. Deceptive Ads Link:  Scammers employ deceptive hyperlinks that display brand names but redirect users to domains devoid of any affiliation. This bait-and-switch tactic capitalizes on users' trust in recognizable brand names, leading them to fraudulent websites or phishing pages. By leveraging familiar brand names in their hyperlinks, scammers aim to deceive users into clicking on malicious links, thereby exposing them to fraudulent schemes.

  5. Ads Redirecting to Restricted Pages: Scammers employ deceptive advertising tactics, redirecting users to pages accessible only via mobile devices or specific locations. By limiting access in this manner, they create a sense of exclusivity or urgency, enticing unsuspecting users to click on the ad. This technique makes the scams harder to detect for brand and brand protection providers, as the restricted access adds an extra layer of anonymity. Once redirected to the page, users may encounter counterfeit products or phishing attempts, falling victim to the scam.


In 2023, the landscape of apparel scams continued to evolve, posing significant threats to consumers and brand owners worldwide. From sophisticated website impersonations to deceptive social media tactics, scammers employ numerous strategies to exploit unsuspecting shoppers. As you navigate the digital realm, protection and education should be at top of your priority list in 2024. By remaining informed and exercising caution, you can fortify yourselves against apparel scams and safeguard your online experiences, if you wish to learn more about apparel scams, click here.