I'll agree with GrandFather, and add one: how about you show us the data, too - maybe by running it through 'hexdump -C' or some equivalent?
my $s1 = "1\xe2\x80\x932\xe2\x80\x933";
my $s2 = "1-2-3";
print "$s1: not $s2, but a brilliant imitation!\n"
unless $s1 eq $s2;
1𣇽: not 1-2-3, but a brilliant imitation!
Depending on your character set, those n-dashes could well end up looking like dots, etc.
I hate storms, but calms undermine my spirits.
-- Bernard Moitessier, "The Long Way"