Keep your eyes open for counterfeit goods this Christmas
Can you tell a fake Rolex from a real one? Could you spot a genuine Nike Air Max from a counterfeit?
These were the questions being asked of shoppers in Barking Market today (Tuesday 11 December) as Trading Standards hosted a scams and fakes Christmas special.
From tracksuits and trainers to champagne and candles, the stall offered bargain hunters some unique insights to keep them safe from fraudsters while out shopping for a bargain over the festive period.
Although many looked like genuine products, when inspected up close the quality – or lack of it – shined through, including Yankee Candles from the USA that had a ‘made in China’ stamp and a bottle of Bacardi that had label made using a home printer.
Not a victimless crime
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “We all love a bargain but while cheap knock-offs might seem like a money saver for your back pocket, there could be dangers as well as disappointment.
“Selling fake products is not a victimless crime. Just because it has the logo of a well-known brand on it doesn’t mean it is made of the same quality or meet the same safety standards.”
To help people spot a fake product, Barking and Dagenham Council Trading Standards officers have the following tips:
- Check the price. The old saying 'if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is!' - question why and how a product can be sold so cheaply.
- Check the seller. Buy from retailers you trust and check their returns policy.
- Check the quality. Poor quality is usually an indicator of fakes – but not always.
- Check the package. Look for unfamiliar brands, foreign writing or no warning labels / pictures. Fake alcohol may have labels that aren't straight, have glue around the edges, spelling mistakes, or there may be sediments in the bottle.
If anyone has any doubt about any letter from the council, please contact the Trading Standards team on email@example.com or contact Citizen Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 040 506 to report any scams.