For one of India’s premier express distribution and first and last mile logistics companies like Gati, an unmatched nationwide network, loyal customers across the country, a strategic association with Allcargo Logistics, India’s largest integrated logistics services provider, truly create limitless possibilities. But on the flipside, this success also entails dealing with a number of fake and fraudulent entities wanting to dupe customers and make a quick buck for themselves.
While there may be an age-old saying that goes ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, it certainly doesn’t hold true in the context of fraudulent entities that wrongfully imitate and misuse a successful organization’s name, trademarked logos and identity to poach customers and cheat them.
If you know them, you can avoid them
Fakes have always been a problem for strong, successful brands with a glorious legacy and wide-ranging customer base. With the advent of modern digital tools and technology, fraudulent entities with adverse intentions have found even more innovative ways to trick customers. Being able to identify and avoid these fraudulent entities is the best way for customers to protect themselves.
When it comes to a brand like Gati that provides express and retail logistics services, here are some of the ways in which fake entities attempt to sabotage it:
Fraudulent websites try to rank higher on search engine results by running paid keyword ad campaigns for their fake domains. So for example, if a customer searches for ‘Gati services’, it is possible that the ad which appears prominently may actually lead to the fake domain rather than the actual one – www.gati.com
Fakes may showcase a false association with Gati that doesn’t exist at all. They may use a slightly modified version of the actual brand name and pretend to be a part of Gati, both online as well as offline. Example, Gati Packers and Movers, Gati Movers and Packers Pune, etc. may have names similar to Gati, but they are not officially related to Gati in any way because ‘Gati Ltd.’ is the only name the company is known by.
Making false promises and attractive offers that are too good to be true are one of the main ways in which frauds entice customers. Once they lure the customers, however, their only aim is to escape with the goods and money or both, with absolutely no intention to meet their stated delivery timelines and services.
Fraudsters may also produce forged documents like identity cards, visiting cards, pamphlets, etc. that may seem genuine if one is not careful to check closely and ensure that they have the official number and email address namely 1860-123-4284 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mala-fide intentions are not without repercussions
Wrongfully misusing a successful brand’s identity and trademarks is a crime and can be a basis for serious legal action.
Additionally, frauds cause irreparable damage to a brand by eroding its value in the eyes of naive, unsuspecting customers who end up choosing to work with a fake entity and lose their money and cargo.
Not only does the brand identity suffer, but so do the customers. They do not receive the expected quality and level of services which hampers their experience. Along with a loss of trust in the brand, customers may also lose their precious cargo and money.
Fighting the fakes - putting customers first
For a long-standing brand like Gati, protecting customers and their cargo is a key priority. As a result, significant efforts are being taken to not only combat the frauds and fake entities but also increase awareness among customers and employees to ensure that fraudulent websites or companies get reported on a continuous basis.
- Legal action against fraudulent domains and companies
- Communicating with customers to help them identify and avoid fraud websites
- Internal messages urging Gati’s employees to report any fake entities they come across
- Relevant updates on social media and all other digital touchpoints
- Establishing a connect with local and regional media to reach out to a much wider audience
Along with these steps, Gati’s main focus has been to support customers who have been victims of such cheating. To the extent possible, Gati has acted as a partner, providing consultancy and advice on the course of action that customers can take to redress their grievances. Customers too, have vouched for this supportive approach.
The fight against the fakes is not a one-time initiative. So long as brands like Gati continue to excel and exceed customer expectations, fraudsters intending to cash-in and piggyback on the success will keep emerging.
Gati is already seeing positive results of its 360 degree plan of action to combat fakes and the team remains committed to ensure vigilance and quick response in future too.