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NBC has a video that discusses the problems of counterfeit software affecting the US.  The example they used were customers ordering Rosetta Stone off the web either via Google search, Google ad or off eBay.  The issue is that scammers are now putting significant effort into creating legitimate looking web sites and very professional packaging.  A person orders the software from one of these sites thinking they are getting a good deal.

When the product arrives, the packaging and marking looks like the real packaging for the actual product.  The problems arise when one attempts to load the software off of CD. There is a potential the software is pirated and you are installing a version that works but will not be supported with any updates.  More likely the “software” on the CD is bogus and merely refuses to load. There are even reports of CDs delivered in this manner that have viruses that allow the scammer to steal information off your computer and expose you to identity thief.

Rosetta Stone has stated they get many customer complaints that are directed at them from customers that have purchased counterfeit software.  Many of these “suppliers” are based in China.  So when complaints cause Google or Ebay to shut down a specific supplier, they just pop up again under a new name.  And the customer many times is unable to get a refund of their money.

Bottom line:  Always verify who you are doing business with on the web.

Here is the link to NBC’s video:     http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/46484347/ns/today-today_rossen_reports/t/rossen-reports-are-top-websites-business-counterfeiters/#.T0e3GvGqAYs

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