Under the Hood of Anti-Counterfeiting Technology

Flipnode on Apr 28 2023


Counterfeiting poses a significant global issue, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimating that pirated and counterfeit goods account for 6.8% of all EU imports. The advent of online shopping has exacerbated the problem, with counterfeit products infiltrating online marketplaces worldwide. Detecting these fraudulent items requires sophisticated equipment.

While some consumers knowingly purchase fake products, studies indicate that many others are deceived into doing so. The sale of cheap imitations online not only tarnishes brand image but also has financial ramifications. According to research, up to 11% of fake goods sold would have otherwise been genuine purchases. Consequently, an increasing number of brands are turning to anti-counterfeiting services for assistance.

The growing prevalence of counterfeiting presents various challenges for anti-counterfeiting service providers. Given the widespread availability of fake products, companies must employ versatile and robust tools to collect vast amounts of current data, even from the most advanced targets.

What is anti-counterfeiting?

The implementation of anti-counterfeiting technology serves to detect fraudulent goods. Furthermore, anti-counterfeiting measures can also be employed as a preemptive strategy to hinder counterfeit production. Among the most prevalent tactics utilized in anti-counterfeiting efforts are market surveillance using proxies.

Why is it hard to find counterfeit goods online?

Detecting counterfeit goods can be a challenging task, as those involved in their sale typically operate covertly. However, in order to locate these goods, potential buyers need to be able to identify them. Anti-counterfeit services achieve this by adopting the persona of a prospective purchaser, albeit on a much larger scale, which poses additional obstacles. To overcome this, they employ bots, known as scrapers, to scour the internet for public information about counterfeit products. However, not all scrapers are equally effective in gathering such data. Thus, identifying the most prominent counterfeit markets online and determining the optimal approach for using web scrapers to infiltrate them can be a complex process.

Scraping search engines

To locate counterfeit goods using search engines, a scraper must compile a list of relevant keywords and phrases to identify both counterfeit and authentic products. If properly configured, the scraper will automatically retrieve search engine results that lead to websites offering counterfeit products. The results can then be filtered to display the latest entries.

Nevertheless, search engines pose a formidable obstacle for web scrapers. In order to fend off malicious bots, search engines employ sophisticated anti-bot measures that can trigger CAPTCHAs and IP address bans, even for well-intentioned scrapers.

Using a reverse image search

Reverse image search is a valuable tool for identifying counterfeit products, and it should not be underestimated. This technique can assist in identifying images used to promote counterfeit goods. One way to automate this process is to feed product images into search engines and scrape the URLs of websites where these images are displayed. This approach is effective because counterfeiters frequently use original images or make minor adjustments to them for their counterfeit product listings.

However, this method faces similar challenges to scraping search engines. Having IP addresses blocked can slow down the web scraping process and increase its cost.

Crawling e-commerce marketplaces

As counterfeit goods are primarily sold on e-commerce marketplaces, web scraping these websites may yield more fruitful results than searching on search engines. E-commerce platforms usually have product categories, which makes it easier for scrapers to gather item listings. By targeting a specific category, the scraper can avoid sifting through an exhaustive list of keywords, as is the case with search engines.

Yet, web scraping e-commerce websites presents a challenge. Most scrapers cannot retrieve structured information from these sites since each website has unique product page layouts. As a result, a separate web parser may be necessary for each website to extract readable information.

How to find counterfeit products?

Anti-counterfeiting technology relies heavily on web scraping, but not all web scrapers are equally effective in detecting counterfeit products quickly. Therefore, anti-counterfeiting service providers must find ways to ensure their customers receive prompt notifications of counterfeit products as soon as they hit the market.

Use Scraper APIs

Scraper APIs are an essential part of anti-counterfeit technology for companies that prioritize ready-to-use data over proxies. These web scraping tools can deliver parsed results even from complex websites such as search engines and e-commerce sites. For brand protection teams focused on interpreting results rather than acquiring data.

SERP Scraper API can deliver data from anywhere in the world, which is vital for tackling counterfeiting on a global scale. It offers real-time data delivery, ensuring that brand protection companies can quickly inform their clients about counterfeit items. This timely detection of fake products can minimize the damage to the original brand.

Scraping with API does not require any CAPTCHA or IP block handling, making it more efficient than proxies. Additionally, you only pay for the results delivered, making it a cost-effective solution.

If you already have a web scraper, use Datacenter Proxies

For companies with an in-house web scraper, proxies play a vital role in their tool. Flipnodes Dedicated Datacenter Proxies are a perfect fit for this purpose as they offer the following benefits:

Unlimited concurrent sessions enable scaling up as required. Since counterfeit goods can be found anywhere on the web, including copies of high-end brands, having the ability to scale up is advantageous for accommodating a diverse range of clients.

High uptime ensures that web scraping and crawling operations run continuously without any unexpected interruptions. This ensures that crawlers are always searching for counterfeit items 24/7.

Low response time is crucial for swiftly gathering public data, especially for large-scale operations.


Many companies are grappling with the question of how to prevent counterfeiting, as fake products can damage brands' images and have significant economic consequences. As the number of counterfeit items on the market continues to rise, anti-counterfeiting solutions must take on challenging tasks such as crawling search engines, extracting data from complex e-commerce sites, and using reverse image searches.

Proxies and web scrapers are integral to anti-counterfeit technology, allowing companies to access locations worldwide, scan the web without interruption, and receive real-time data.

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