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Expand chart
Data: Sapio Research poll for Incopro conducted in Oct. 2019, among 1,059 U.S. consumers in all 50 states. Margin of error ±2.2%; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Holiday season spending is here, with the frenzy of Black Friday, Cyber Monday,and all the other temptations in full play.

The big picture: This year, Black Friday spending rose an astonishing 20%; even Thanksgiving Day, when most brick-and-mortar stores are closed, was a retail extravaganza, seeing $4.2 billion spent online. But as shopping goes digital, it's easier than ever to find yourself buying fakes — either deliberately or by mistake.

  • By the numbers: A new survey from Sapio Research, commissioned by the U.K. brand-reputation consultancy Incopro, finds that 26% of American consumers bought an item in the past year believing it to be real, only to find out later that the thing they bought was a fake.
  • The other side: That subset of consumers — call them the Dupes — are also much more likely to deliberately seek out and buy counterfeit goods (as seen in the bottom set of bars in the chart). Some 68% of the Dupes also bought counterfeits on purpose, whereas less than 6% of everybody else did.

What they're saying: Web psychologist Nathalie Nahai says that "when consumers are seeking out items at a specific cost, their desire to meet that price point may well override their desire for authentic products, which can result in a higher likelihood of purchasing counterfeit goods."

The bottom line: Sometimes counterfeits are bought deliberately, and sometimes inadvertently — but it does seem likely that the people buying fakes tend to be the most price-sensitive consumers.

Go deeper: Holiday shoppers are unfazed by recession fears

Go deeper

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Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.