Beware the German Knife Scam!!!
About two years ago I picked up a set of knives that I thought were made by Hoffman in Solingen, Germany. The price was really good - $45. A guy at work was given them a few years ago by a friend who bought them for him as a gift while in Germany. They'd never been used.
Well, some googling after-the-fact tells me there is no Hoffman in Solingen, and that there is a huge problem in Europe right now with this knife scam. And it seems that problem is spreading very quickly to Canada because these things seem to be everywhere here, too. There used to be a web page at www.billigmesser.ro where you could see the brand names that are part of the scam. Luckily I copied the list before the website disappeared :
"GI Solingen, Maybach by Imhoff, Berghaus, Rosenbaum, Palas Solingen,
Meister Koch Bergner, Schulzhof, Solingen Professionel, Devonport,
Ginsu, Gladbach, "Classic Exclusive" Solingen, Müller
Kochtopfhaus,Müllerhaus, Mayer Classics, SBS, S.G. Metallwaren AG,
Hoffmann, BERMAN & BENZ, B&B Solingen, Kronenberg S.G., Breitenbach
Solingen, Mühle, Prima Solingen, SBS Bestecke Solingen, Profiline,
Bergmann International Solingen, Titanium 2, P.O.K. Typ Exklusiv Line,
Golden King 18/10, Schäfer S.G., Fischer, Gourmet Royal Kochmesser,
SOL knife (knives), Carl Weill Solingen, Schulzmann Sohlingen, W.S.M.
München, Pearl of Kitchen, Prima knives Germany, HoffBerg,
Hoffman/Solingen, Offenbach, BTS Bischofs Solingen, Bachmayr, GI
Design, Fischer, Röslein, Profiline Solingen, K.B. S.G. International,
Genuine Bravo, Henckelbach Knives, Rozenberg, Solinger Metallwaren AG"
... "and many more" they say.
None of those brand names are real!!!
After I got my knives home and had a good look at them, I can see the steel is far too thick. One of my friends who got scammed said his rust-up in the dishwasher so they are not even real stainless steel.
I just wanted to spread the word because after reading about this and telling a few people, I found out that a couple of my friends have been had by these scammers, too. And some stores and auction houses are even carrying this trash - someone told me there is a store in the Glebe selling them. They are nothing but really cheap knock-offs from scammers in China. So buyer beware!
Apparantly a tell-tale sign of the fakes is that they come in a really nice briefcase. None of the real manufacturers in Solingen package them that way.
If you already have something like this I'm sorry to be the one to tell you that you've been had. You're in good company at least.