Self-balancing electric scooters are everywhere.
The so-called “hoverboards” cost anywhere from $300 to $1700, depending on the brand. They have been compared to Segways but do not have handles, leaving the person to balance themselves.
IO Hawk and PhunkeeDuck have emerged as the most popular brands.
But according to a recent report by NetNames, many counterfeit brands are taking over the market.
Less than 1% of online marketplace listings that make reference to the IO Hawk hoverboard brand name are genuine, according to NetNames, a branding and domain name specialist.
More than 20 companies, many of which are located in China, manufacture and sell these scooters as cheap as $350.
Several reviews show some brands of hoverboards have issues with overheating — to the point of catching fire.
— VICE (@VICE) December 2, 2015
Many businesses and towns are putting limits on where hoverboards can be used. The self-balancing electric scooter is currently banned in New York City, and the United Kingdom just announced it has detained 15,000 hoverboards because of major safety risks.
New research reveals that less than 1% of online marketplace listings to the IO Hawk hoverboard brand name are genuine, according to NetNames.
NetNames advises extra caution when purchasing branded “must have” high-tech products and toys.
“While many retailers will slash their prices to attract bargain hunters in the run up to Christmas, consumers may be caught out by cyber criminals selling counterfeits at a seemingly attractive price online,” NetNames CEO Gary McIlraith told Business Insider.
In order to avoid being a victim of scams, shop around and familiarise yourself with a brand you have your eye on.
If purchasing online, make sure the domain name has been registered for more than one year. You can do that by putting in the details at www.who.is. Or check peer reviews of the website and its social media accounts.
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