January 16, 2023

The world of counterfeit and scam online platforms is not something new, but scam artists are continually finding more creative and sophisticated ways to catch their victims.

Given the popularity of premium branded footwear, sportswear, and sporting equipment in South Africa, all the major brands of running shoes and apparel are finding it a full-time effort to fend off the scam artists who are misleading South African consumers into thinking that they are purchasing authentic branded products from an authorised retailer.

Tifosi Sports, the official distributor of the On brand in South Africa, is one such company who is spending extensive time and money to protect the On brand in the country. It strives to make its customers and loyal brand followers aware of the risks of purchasing On products from a scam reseller.

Caroline Greyling, Chief Operating Officer of Tifosi Sports, says “We have been aware for over 18 months that there are various scam websites that give the impression that they are the official e-commerce website for the On brand in the country. They use wording such as onshoes, onrunning and oncloud followed by “southafrica” in the URL (website domain name) to create the illusion that the website is legitimate. Together with the domain name, they incorporate On “look-alike” branding and an extensive range of On shoe style images to convince the consumer to buy online from the scam website.”

Our recent research on this matter shows us that other running brands such as Adidas, Asics, Brooks, Hoka One One, Nike and Saucony appear to be facing similar “attack” and misuse of their intellectual property on unauthorised social media platforms and websites.

Greyling continues, “If it looks too true to be true then it probably is. We ask consumers to do more research before they place an order on one of these websites, share credit card details and part with their money.”

“Check whether the website displays a physical address from which the business trades. An obvious sign is the advertising of On running shoes at unbelievable discounts. Take time to call our offices in Blairgowrie, Johannesburg to confirm details of the retailer you are about to purchase On products from.”

“Do a Google review on the website and visit a platform such as Trustpilot to get a sense of the site’s validity and other people’s experience with the specific e-commerce website. Those few minutes of finding out more information about the website you are about to buy from could save you from being ripped off and will ensure that you do ultimately buy from an authorised supplier that will timeously deliver the On sportswear you have ordered.”

Both Tifosi Sports and On (Zurich) continue to focus on shutting down imposter websites and social media platforms that are registered from time to time. More recently, we have been able to shut down several URLs registered by scammers and we are working closely with local and overseas registry consortiums and hosting companies to eliminate as many of the current known perpetrators as possible.

This website if the official distributor website for all On shoes and apparel in South Africa.