OpSec Blog

 Insights on Anti-Counterfeiting & Brand Protection Solutions

Valerie Finn

Valerie Finn is OpSec's Director of Brand Protection. She has over 13 years experience in devising and executing brand protection strategies for global corporations to proactively minimize risk and maximize brand equity against Counterfeiting, Gray Market Diversion, Intellectual Property Infringement, and Online Brand Abuse. Her career has spanned multiple industries including Telecommunications, Corporate Compliance & Governance, and Intellectual Property & Trademark Management.
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Recent Posts

What's Blockchain Have to Do with Brand Protection?

Posted by Valerie Finn on Aug 15, 2018 9:11:22 AM

blockchain_smI’ve been in the brand protection industry for 12+ years and every so often there’s a “buzzword” that most of my clients are asking questions about. Sometimes the chatter was about RFID, or about China and Alibaba but most recently the buzzword for not only the brand protection space but other industries seems to be Blockchain.

Now I will admit, until OpSec partnered with Blockpool, a UK-based blockchain developer, to add blockchain technologies to OpSec’s Insight platform, I didn’t know much about the technology. 
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Topics: Product Authentication, Brand Protection, Supply Chain Management, OpSec InSight, Blockchain

What’s all the hype over the Dark Web?

Posted by Valerie Finn on Oct 14, 2016 9:19:48 AM

Dark_Web.jpgIn early September the Imaging Supplies Coalition (ISC) held their 16th International Conference which focuses on Fraud and Counterfeiting in the Imaging Supplies Industry. This year's theme was "An Industry in Transition" and unlike previous years the internet and the rapid growth of counterfeiting was front and center. Topics that were covered included “What is the Dark Web”, “Brand Protection on the Dark Web, “Brand Protection on Social Media” and a panel discussion that focused on Online Brand Protection and Enforcement.

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Topics: Online Brand Protection, Consumer Electronics, Brand Protection & Enhancement, OpSec InSight

This Back-to-School Beware of Social Media Shopping Scams

Posted by Valerie Finn on Aug 18, 2016 8:09:31 AM

iStock_79339997_SMALL.jpgAugust has arrived and for those of us with children, this month represents an end to the summer and the start of a new school year. Soon kids will be swapping out their swimsuits and flip-flops for backpacks and tennis shoes. With back-to-school ads flooding our inboxes and pop-up ads on social media sites, it is no surprise that counterfeiters are utilizing these sites to lure consumers into buying fake products online. A survey by the National Retail Foundation expects over $75 billion to be spent on back-to-school items this year.

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Topics: Online Brand Protection, Social Media Monitoring, Online InSight, Brand Protection & Enhancement, OpSec InSight

Dark web counterfeit coupon kingpin caught by the FBI

Posted by Valerie Finn on Jul 16, 2015 2:00:00 PM
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If surfers love the ocean, if chefs love the kitchen, if Americans love Taylor Swift, then counterfeiters love the Dark Web. 

The Dark Web is where counterfeiters and other criminals have developed a thriving marketplace full of illicit products. It is a segment of the web that, though publicly viewable, is characterized by hidden IP addresses, which makes it difficult to track who or where users are.

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Topics: Counterfeiting, Online Brand Protection, In the Headlines, Brand Protection

With fake SD cards around, your memory is fading faster than you think

Posted by Valerie Finn on Mar 26, 2015 8:10:00 AM
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Businesses buying SD cards in bulk and consumers purchasing the small memory devices for their personal cameras should be aware of the counterfeiting network alive and well in the electronics industry. SD cards are easy to alter, and criminals have found a great way to make fast cash distributing knock-off memory cards,

You've probably seen it before on television or in a movie: The main character is faced with his or her best friend, as well as an evil identical twin, and telling the two apart is proving difficult, if not impossible. You'd hope that the protagonist eventually makes the right choice, but when it comes to one easily counterfeited product, often the opposite is true. 

Have you ever bought an SD memory card that just stopped working fairly soon after you bought it?

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Topics: Digital Media, Counterfeiting, Consumer Electronics, Brand Protection, Supply Chain Management

Gifts for Dads and Grads: Most Counterfeited Tech Gadgets

Posted by Valerie Finn on Jun 13, 2014 3:48:00 PM

Dads_and_Grads_Blog_(2)

With Father's Day just a couple of days away and high school graduations quickly approaching, consumers are rushing to score the hottest technology gifts for dads and grads. Unfortunately, the latest trends in tech tend to fall victim to counterfeiters hoping to capitalize on the item's popularity. E-commerce sites like DHgate, EC21, Made-in-China and TradeKey often provide anonymous yet attractive venues for counterfeiters to sell these illicit goods in bulk at suspiciously low prices. OpSec conducted research across multiple trade boards to take a closer look at the tech items being counterfeited this season, and what consumers and brands can do to help protect themselves.

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Topics: Counterfeiting, Consumer Electronics, How To Spot Fakes, Brand Protection