The next time you see a product you just know is a knockoff, speaking up could mean cashing in. That's the plan behind a new smartphone app.
When most folks think of the word "phony," they think of things like handbags, shoes and clothes.
But the big-bucks business runs much deeper than that.
It's become so big now that crowdsourcing is being used to help brand owners find fakes of their own stuff.
Intellectual property attorney Jason Drangel says some items that seem like the real deal are really bogus, and he's ready to reward you for ratting out the retailers.
To help find the fakes, he's founded uFaker -- the app that turns consumers into crime fighters.
If you spot a knockoff, you just have to snap a picture and send it in.
"That report gets sent to the brand owner who starts their own investigation of the counterfeiting," said Drangel.
In the meantime, you get rewarded for your report: instant access to uFakers' stash of online shopping deals.
FOX 4 tried it out, and our reward was inboxed almost instantly. However, we were slightly underwhelmed by the offers, most of which we could harvest on our own with a simple search of the internet.
"It's been around two months, and we've had over 700 downloads of the app and we've had over 60 reports of counterfeits from consumers," said Drangel.
Drangel says the idea is in its early stages, and better, more exclusive bonuses are on the horizon.
"There's gonna be a lot of opportunities discounts for brand owner purchases from their own websites…things you're typically not going to be able to get," he said.
The bigger benefit, though, is keeping fake and sometimes even unsafe knockoffs off of store shelves, which keeps prices down for everyone.
You can report suspected fakes that you see in person or even that you see being sold online.
Your report does not have to be verified before you get your reward.
The photos you do send in are geocoded to help get any investigations going.
To learn more, visit https://www.ufaker.com/.
KDFW FOX 4
Main Station Directory:
Didn't find what you were looking for?