Malaysia Consumer Day 2013 (HPM 2013)

Malaysia Consumer Day 2013 is just around the corner! Let’s celebrate it by participating in 11 competitions held in the national level.

SWITCH!: National Energy Efficiency Awareness Campaign

SWITCH! is an effort by Non-Government Organisation (NGO) with the support from government and industries to increase the awareness on importance of ‘efficiency’ in the usage of energy and to play our roles and responsibility together with the government.

Do You as Consumer Aware Enough?

Learn more about consumer and consumerism by clicking on the picture.

Danger of Counterfeit and Fake Products

Dou you know counterfeit is really a serious problem to the world? Find out more about counterfeit by clicking on this picture.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (FOMCA)

FOMCA is a national non-govermental organization, which is the umbrella body of registered consumer associations in Malaysia. Find out more at their website.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Counterfeit Money Scheme: Three Arrested

FRANKLIN, UK - Three Portsmouth men are in the Southampton County Jail after allegedly trying to pass off counterfeit bills at four Armory Drive gas stations; as reported by The Tidewater News last Friday.

The Franklin Police Department responded to the New Dixie Exxon in reference to an individual attempting to pay with counterfeit money at approximately 2 p.m. Thursday, but when they arrived the suspects were gone.

Getting a description of the suspect and the vehicle, a white Mercedes, officers broadcast the information to surrounding jurisdictions.

By approximately 4 p.m., Southampton County Sheriff’s Office deputies pulled the vehicle over and discovered additional counterfeit bills.

Further investigation led to the arrest of the three people. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges could surface.

Matthew Ryan Montoya, 22, 88 Morris St., was charged with conspiring to utter, or attempting to employ as true a false, forged or base coin, note or bill, knowing it to be false, eight counts, obtaining money by false pretense, less than $200, three counts, and possessing 10 or more forged bank notes, one count.

Gerald Leslie Neblett, 25, 1018 Victory Blvd., was charged with conspiring to utter, or attempting to employ as true a false, forged or base coin, note or bill, knowing it to be false, four counts, obtaining by false pretense or token, less than $200, three counts.

Nicholas Lain Spencer, 27, 50 Prospect Pkwy., was charged with conspiring to utter, or attempting to employ as true a false, forged or base coin, note or bill, knowing it to be false, four counts, and obtaining by false pretense or token, less than $200, three counts.

The suspects also reportedly tried to pass off counterfeit money at the Sunoco Food Mart, the Slip In and the Kangaroo.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Can a Clothing Design be Copyrighted?

"Wow, your cloth is really great! Where did you get it?"

"Thanks! I designed it by myself."

"Really? 'Cause I think I've seen it somewhere? Oh yes! This is what Lady Gago wore during last year Oska Award right?"

"You got me. But I've changed few part of the cloth, so it's my design now right?"

" I don't know but, does cloth design has copyright?"

Do you ever wonder about this? Let's watch this video:

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Buying Pizza Using Counterfeit Money?

If you have counterfeit money, you might think that you can spend it for cheap items so that you won't get caught. You can spend it for a bottle of mineral water, or maybe a loaf of bread or maybe two pieces of fried chicken.

Think again. You shouldn't have the counterfeit at first place. If the money is in your hand, you should report to the authority, not spending them!

If you get caught for buying fried chicken using counterfeit money, you might go to jail or need to pay for an amount of money. It's not worth at all! Then the next day news goes like this: Going to Jail because of Fried Chicken.

It isn't funny because it had happened before. Read this news.

Danbury Police: Counterfeit $50 for a Slice of Pizza

Posted by (Editor) , 

Danbury Police officers were sent to Nico's Pizza on Main Street at about 8:20 p.m. Thursday over a disturbance involving counterfeit money. Upon their arrival, Police determined that Miguel Audelo (photo), 22, of Queens, NY was attempting to purchase 2 slices of Pizza with a counterfeit $50 bill. Upon interviewing Audelo, he told police he does this for a job.

"He goes around and tries to spend less than $5 so he can get the change," said Danbury Police Spokesman Christian Carroccio. Police said they found other counterfeit $50 bills on Audelo. Audelo was charged with two counts of first-degree forgery, and criminal attempt to commit sixth-degree larceny. The counterfeit bills were turned over to the Secret Service. Audelo was held on a $100,000 bond for the above mentioned charges, and an ICE Detainer. Additionally it was learned that Audelo was wanted in Queens, NY for felony forgery. Audelo was additionally charged as a fugitive from justice and held on an additional $25,000 bond.
You got the message right? Good.

These Fancy Food Are Fraud!

Taken from Frugal Dad, he advices to not believe everything you eat.

Good frugal sense will tell you to approach spendy purchases with thoughtful hesitation, but, in this case, that seems easier said than done. The fact of the matter is, unless a product is truly transparent about its contents (not especially easy to determine), you could be wasting your money on overpriced cons.

Here you go, the infographic on these fake fancy food:

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Concerns About Counterfeit Foods

A new report suggests that you might not be getting what you're paying for.

Watch this video that has been aired by ABC News on January 2013.


Monday, July 15, 2013

Seizures of Counterfeit Foods in Yemen

Since the beginning of the year 2013, more than 57 tons of expired and counterfeit food products, cosmetics and medicines have been destroyed, said Khalid Al-Khwlani, the director of the Industry and Trade office in Sana’a to Yemen Times. There have been 581 documented violations; 522 have been referred for prosecution, he said. 

Eight ice-cream factors in the Dar Salm area have been closed for not meeting safety standards.

“We have established sub-committees in each district to periodically inspect shops and markets until the end of Ramadan,” said Al-Khwlani.

With a weak economy, people are increasingly turning to street vendors and markets for cheaper goods. The influx of people is resulting in more demand for goods, leading to more expired and counterfeit products, said the director of the Consumer Protection Authority, Ali Abdulaziz Al-Haj.

The Capital Secretariat confiscated nearly 50,000 packs of counterfeit chewing gum in Al-Sonaina shopping center in Sana’a. The owner of the shopping center was fined YR 400,000, about $1900.

Counterfeit goods aren’t limited to developing nations such as Yemen. The New York Times recently published an article about the phenomenon: Counterfeit Food More Widespread Than Suspected.

“Around the world, food fraud is an epidemic — in every single country where food is produced or grown, food fraud is occurring,” said Mitchell Weinberg to The New York Times. “Just about every single ingredient that has even a moderate economic value is potentially vulnerable to fraud.”

on 8 July 2013 in Yemen Times

10 Counterfeit Food Products Usually Consumed

Most perspicacious shoppers might guess that a pile of supposed Louis Vuitton handbags being hawked by a shady sidewalk vendor for $20 a pop are probably not authentic. But how about a lovely-looking bottle of extra-virgin olive oil on the shelf of the supermarket? Even the most shrewd of shoppers might not suspect that behind the label lurk 12 ounces of, say, humdrum corn oil. Welcome to the world of food fraud.

While a knockoff purse may pose little more harm than embarrassment upon its discovery, phony food can be a cause for concern. It can lead food allergy sufferers dangerously astray. As well, some items being used aren’t meant for human consumption, while others contain toxic components such as lead or melamine. While the list of foods on the database is extensive, here are some of the most commonly-consumed ones to be on the lookout for.

1. Orange juice

What could be complicated about orange juice? It is made from oranges, juiced — except when it’s not. That some juice makers feel compelled to regularly pump up their product with non-orange ingredients seems farfetched, but they do it. And in fact, orange juice is one of the most popular items to have suspect ingredients sneaked into the mix. The FFD is chock full of faux orange juices, one of the most shocking reveals a mixture of beet sugar, corn sugar, monosodium glutamate, ascorbic acid, potassium sulfate, orange pulp wash, grapefruit solids, and a byproduct from a water distillation system.

2. Honey

Honey is one of the most commonly mislabeled foods, representing 7 percent of food fraud cases. Last year, Food Safety News tested honey and found that 75 percent of store-bought honey didn’t contain pollen. People are still buying a product made from bees, but with no pollen food regulators are unable to identify the honey’s source. Consequent testing found that a third of all phony honey was imported from Asia and was contaminated with lead and antibiotics.

3. Truffle oil

This one comes as a shock to any self-respecting foodie upon its discovery. The fancy truffle oil that home chefs and beloved restaurants drizzle across pizza, pasta, and salads … isn’t flavored with real truffles. No, most commercial truffle oils are created by mixing olive oil with a synthetic petroleum-based flavoring agent, commonly 2,4-dithiapentane. Real truffle oil may be hard to find, but check the label for truffle “aroma” or “essence” to spot the imposter oils.

4. Blueberries

Berries, and blueberries in particular, have become a superfood darling and consequently, commonly faked – there’s a pretty lengthy list of retail food items that contain words or photos suggesting that real blueberries were used in the products, when in fact, they weren’t.

The nonprofit Consumer Wellness Center reported that many "blueberries" in popular products they found were nothing more than glops of sugar, corn syrup, starch, hydrogenated oil, artificial flavors and artificial food dye blue No. 2 and red No. 40.

5. Milk

Milk is one of the most commonly adulterated food items out there. A look at the FFD turns up pages of search results for milk, with a nightmarish list of adulterants. For starters: Melamine, non-authentic animal sources, formaldehyde, urea, hydrogen peroxide, machine oil, detergent, caustic soda, starch, non-potable water, cow tallow and pork lard.

6. Fish

Between sustainability issues and mercury levels, many of us are obsessively diligent about the fish we buy. So it’s depressing and distressing to discover that a study by Oceana from 2010 to 2012 found that 33 percent of the 1,215 samples they analyzed nationwide were mislabeled according to FDA guidelines. The samples were collected from 674 retail outlets in 21 states.

Samples labeled as snapper and tuna had the highest mislabeling rates (87 and 59 percent); only seven of the 120 samples of red snapper purchased nationwide were actually red snapper, the other 113 samples were another fish.

At the same time, farmed fish gets sold as wild catch and scallops are sometimes stamped-out whitefish. And buyer beware: A Consumer Reports study included a "grouper" sample that was really tilefish, a fish that contains frighteningly high levels of mercury.

7. Saffron

Few spices are as exotic or expensive as saffron, and consequently, few spices are knocked off as frequently. Commonly standing in for the costly crimson threads, according to the FFD, are creative adulterants such as marigold and calendula flowers, turmeric, corn silk, poppy petals, died onions, gypsum, chalk, starch, borax and glycerine, tartrazine, barium sulfate, sandalwood dye, colored grass, and red-dyed silk fiber.

8. Olive oil

Researchers have found that olive oil is the food most vulnerable to food fraud. In most cases consumers are getting a lesser quality than what is labeled – regular olive oil instead of extra virgin, or a cheaper, non-Italian variety being sold as Italian. But olive oil is also frequently diluted with imposter oils such as hazelnut oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, palm oil and walnut oil. One sample even contained lard.

In rare instances, varieties of non-food-grade oil may be added in. In one notorious case, more than 600 Spaniards died in 1981 after eating a non-food-grade, industrial rapeseed oil that was sold as olive oil.

9. Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice is another food category undone by its own popularity. Ever since pomegranate juice hit the market, it has been lauded for its high antioxidant content, for which consumers are willing to pay a premium. So it’s with no little amount of frustration to find that “pomegranate” juice is often diluted with grape or pear juice, sugar, and high-fructose corn syrup. There have also been reports of completely "synthetic pomegranate juice" that didn't contain any traces of the real juice at all.

10. Coffee

If you buy whole beans and grind them at home, there’s less of a chance that your morning joe has been "enhanced" with the confounding oddities that find their way into ground and instant coffee courtesy of sketchy coffee producers. The following have been found in these forms of coffee: Twigs, coffee husks, roasted corn, roasted barley, roasted soybeans, chicory powder, rye flour, potato flour, burned sugar, caramel, figs, roasted date seeds, glucose, maltodextrins, starch and roasted ground parchment.

The moral of the story? Don't be scared by all of this, but be aware. Buy whole foods when you can. Shop at trusted co-ops and farmers markets when possible. Know that well-known names and bigger brands should be somehwat reliable, since they have a lot to lose if they're busted for mislabeling. And look out for deals that seem to good to be true; that super cheap saffron could well be nothing more than died daisy petals.

Counterfeit Foods: Are You Eating the Real Thing?

Think counterfeiting only extends to that knock-off name-brand purse or those slightly irregular DVDs you bought on the street? Think again. Everything is fair game to counterfeiters these days, from music to computer equipment to car parts.

But perhaps most frightening: The food you eat and the beverages you drink might not be the real thing.

While all counterfeiting is problematic, counterfeit food and beverages are especially tricky. The inherent health and safety risks are higher than those associated with, say, a knockoff pair of sunglasses, and they're also harder to detect once they've made their way onto store shelves. And unlike a fake purse whose handle falls off after you buy it, fake foods can hurt more than your wallet.

A Fish by Any Other Name

But beyond mere mislabeling is a more insidious type of food fraud: creating inferior products meant to pass as brand-name goods.

With advances in technology, a localized market and the constant push for value pricing, it's not always easy to tell what's real and what's fake.
Charges of mislabeling items to increase the sales prices aren't new. Only last year, large retailers were targeted in a lawsuit that claimed the products they were selling as organic weren't. Tamara Ward of the Food and Drug Administration says that counterfeit food cases can occur when consumers can't easily tell one item from another (as is often the case with certain varieties of fish), or are unable to distinguish by taste the differences among types of certain foods (such as extra virgin olive oil or raw honey).

Looks Can Be Very Deceiving

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the most successful food fraud occurs when the inferior item is not easily distinguishable from the real deal.

With advances in technology, it's becoming markedly more difficult to determine a counterfeit label from a real one, even in the face of anti-counterfeit security devices like holograms or tax labels. Well-designed packaging (even creating fake "brands") also helps these goods gain traction, enabling them to blend well on store shelves because they don't stand out next to their legitimate peers.

Counterfeiters will make most of their upfront investment in label-making equipment, and less investment in the inferior ingredients going into the food items. Simply put, the more they spend on the outside, the less they'll spend on the inside.

"In most cases, food fraud, or 'economically motivated adulteration,' is a pocketbook issue," Ward says, "but when ingredients are illegally substituted for what is on the label, consumers may be affected by unsuspected allergens or, in the worst case scenario, by toxic contaminants such as melamine."

So scan your shopping cart with skepticism. While it may be nearly impossible to tell a fake from the real thing, the same rule of avoiding counterfeit purses applies: Use common sense, don't buy an item with a label that has spelling errors or misprinted labels, and be wary of prices that seem too low.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

How to Identify a Counterfeit Medicine

Today, more people than ever put their health in danger by purchasing counterfeit medicines. Up to 15% of all drugs sold worldwide are fake, and in some parts of Africa and Asia the figure exceeds 50%.

Consumers should be aware about the medicine they take, either real or fake. These are several ways to recognize counterfeit medicine; as stated by Bupa International:
  • Spot the difference. Is the lettering on the packaging hazy and printed flat (rather than raised), or is the expiry date missing?
  • Read carefully. Are the labelling and patient information in a language you understand? If there are misspelled words, contact the manufacturers – it can be a telltale sign.
  • Use your senses. Is the medicine the same size, shape, texture, colour and taste as your previous prescription?
  • Feel for consistency. When you handle the drug does it fall apart easily? If so, it could signal a fake.
  • Do a price check. Does the cost of the drug seem very cheap in comparison with your official provider? If it’s much lower, it could be a scam.

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