A new brand protection system could reduce the number of consumers that are duped into buying fake high-end apparel by giving them the ability to check a product's authenticity at the point of sale.

The ValidateMyTag system combines two widely used technologies: SMS (Short Message Service) and the anti-counterfeiting technologies within the US dollar bill.

The system works by attaching sequential US dollar bills, obtained from a bank, to merchandise in a specially designed and patent-pending tamper-poof clear case (known as a MoneyTag).

Serial number ranges are linked to a specific product code or style number in a database at the ValidateMyTag Authentication Center.

At the point of sale, consumers can verify the authenticity of merchandise by checking the authenticity of the dollar bill by identifying known security features such as water marks and security threads.

They then send a text message, via a cell phone, to the ValidateMyTag Authentication Center containing the serial number on the US dollar bill.

Once the text message is sent, a validation message will be systematically delivered to the consumer's cell phone indicating the brand, UPC (Universal Product Code), style, and other production information about the merchandise.

The patent-pending system has been developed by FBrothers & Company Inc, which says a survey conducted by Ledbury Research in 2007 found that 31% of consumers purchased a counterfeit item thinking it was the real thing.