Clothing, shoes, perfumes or smartwatches: Young people in the EU are buying significantly more counterfeit products than before the corona pandemic. The number of young Europeans who made a conscious decision to buy one or more counterfeit products in the past year has more than doubled (from 14 percent to 37 percent), according to a study by the EU office published on Wednesday for Intellectual Property (EUIPO) in Alicante, Spain. Influencers also have an influence on buying behavior.

“At a time when e-commerce and digital consumption have increased significantly, the rise in purchases of counterfeit goods, both intentional and unintentional, is a worrying trend,” said EUIPO Executive Director Christian Archambeau.

More than half (52 percent) of those surveyed stated that they had bought at least one counterfeit product online, either intentionally or accidentally. In Germany, according to the information, 39 percent of the people surveyed between the ages of 15 and 24 knowingly bought counterfeit goods. According to the representative survey, fakes are most popular among young Greeks (62 percent). The value was lowest in the Czech Republic (24 percent).

The main factors include social influences such as the behavior of family members, friends or acquaintances. In addition, every tenth respondent referred to recommendations from influencers or famous people. Many young people are misled and lured into buying counterfeit products, it said. Young people also admitted that it was difficult to distinguish genuine goods from counterfeit goods.