Groupon has issued a recall for certain Durex-branded condoms that the merchant sold through the Australian variant of its website last month.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), a branch of the Australian Department of Health, said the condoms sold by Groupon had been identified as counterfeit and contained serious defects including holes in the latex.
The TGA said a Groupon merchant called Citrus Beat sold the counterfeit condoms between March 12 and April 10. Citrus Beat, also known as Edge Lounge Enterprises, was “responsible for direct shipment of the affected products to the consumers,” the TGA said.
Groupon Australia has identified the customers who purchased the products and has started notifying them about the recall, the TGA said.
“Counterfeiting is a problem for all major condom brands and consumers should be alert for potential fakes,” the statement read. “Signs that might indicate a potential counterfeit products include suspiciously low prices, poor quality of printing on the packaging and whether information on the foil packaging of individual condoms match that on the box.”
The TGA said people who purchased the counterfeit goods from Groupon should dispose of the product or return them to Groupon for a full refund.
Counterfeit condoms have been a serious problem the past few years. Scammers are known to cash in on low-quality condoms that are poorly manufactured with cheap latex. Those condoms often illegally carry the brand names of well-known condom manufacturers and are marketed online at steep discounts. Those prices are often well-below what customers would pay for a box of brand-name condoms at a pharmacy, but high enough to net a sizable profit for the counterfeiter.
Two years ago, authorities in China seized more than 4 million packaged condoms from a counterfeit operation in the Fujian province where dozens of workers were making condoms with low-grade latex and “cheap lubrication,” ABC News reported.
In that operation, counterfeiters were reported to have manufactured the poor-quality prophylactics under the brand names Durex, Contex and Jissbon. The counterfeit condoms were being sold on a website called Taobao, one of China’s most-popular online shopping portals.
Thirty-seven people were arrested in connection with the raid on the factory in China, ABC News said. The raid came one month after health officials in Ghana issued an alert for counterfeit condoms that had been imported from a different factory in China.
Matthew Keys is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.