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Black Friday Fakes and Cyber Monday Scams

Amid nervous projections of retail malaise this holiday season, counterfeit goods are bound to prosper, right?  After all, consumers dismayed by high gas prices, a soft housing market, and other inhospitable indicators may well turn to fakes for their style fix.

Think again.

According to the New York Post, Manhattan street peddlers are feeling pinched by lack of interest from potential buyers and increased attention from the police.  One watch dealer complained that his folding-table display generated $800 in sales on the day after Thanksgiving last year -- but only $200 this Black Friday.

And what of Cyber Monday, the day when we return to the office and begin our online holiday shopping, sometime between interminable meetings and emails from the boss?  Judging from the amount of Monday morning spam offering genuine replica goods, counterfeiters are out looking for a holiday score -- but, according to MarkMonitor's information-packed Brandjacking Index, so are phishers and gift card scammers.  It remains to be seen whether the heightened perils of typing in a credit card number on a shady site and pressing "enter" will affect internet shopping patterns.

In the meantime, enjoy the office parties and eggnog excesses.  Oh, and watch out for this guy...

Steven Hirsh photo of Alabama tourist Mike Dunn

...whom the Post snapped showing off his new $20 "Rolex."  If he's your Secret Santa, you're better off with a lump of (candy) coal.