Disposable vape brand Elf Bar has intercepted over a million fake vape products bearing its product names.
The company has been working closely with Chinese authorities to close down more than 20 counterfeit factories, which were found to have collectively produced over a million counterfeits, the majority of which were headed to the UK market.
Elf Bar chief executive Victor Xiao said: “We are working actively with the authorities in China in cracking down counterfeits of our products and have made good progress. Elfbar, as a socially responsible brand, will continue the efforts to defeat counterfeits and protect the health of our customers.”
According to the brand, the counterfeiters have also created fake websites which looked identical to the official Elf Bar website, making product verification more challenging. Domain names created by the fraudsters include Elfdar.com, Elfbar-tech.com, Elfba.com, Elfbar.link, Elfbar-teoh.com.
Xiao warned that these fraudulent businesses are stepping up and that legitimate retailers will need to work harder. “The fraudsters are getting increasingly sophisticated and setting up fake websites that look just like the Elf Bar official site, which could mislead the consumers. Whilst we are locating spoof sites and taking them down, we caution our customers that the fraudsters may continue to set up new domains.
“We have a zero tolerance to counterfeits as they impact on our reputation, and more importantly bring major health hazards to the vapers and those transitioning from conventional cigarettes to vapes due to their lack of quality control. The counterfeit products do not meet our quality standards, which comply with robust regulatory requirements as set out in the Tobacco Products Directive and The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations.”
The company is asking retailers to be alert to the issue and has started to provide distributors with visual information on how to spot fakes. “For retailers and consumers, we suggest that they verify products by scanning the QR code on the package and ensure it takes them to the official ELFBAR.com domain for verification,” he said. “If you suspect the product you bought is fake, please drop us a note at email@example.com, and we will take appropriate action.”
Xiao added that UK customers and retailers have helped its investigation into counterfeiters by providing evidence of suspicious products they purchased. “We would like to thank British retailers and our vape customers who have taken the time and effort to alert us of the counterfeits – this has helped us track and trace their sources. By collaborating with the authorities, supply chain partners, distributors and retailers, we are confident that we together can protect our customers from the unscrupulous activities of the counterfeiters.”