With less than two weeks until Christmas and with COVID-19 restrictions meaning shopping in person may not be possible for many, we understand that this can be a challenging time. When trying to find the best deals on presents, we all need to be on the lookout for scams and counterfeits.
In the vast swathes of deals and discounts available on products this year, look out for deals that seem good to be true. Honest and trustworthy sellers are not the only ones offering bargains as international gangs of counterfeiters and fraudsters understand the benefits of luring buyers too and will use every trick to make you 'click'.
Customs authorities across the UK and EU are always fighting counterfeiting but it’s also important for consumers to play a role by being aware of the seller and their credentials and only buying from shops and websites that you know and trust.
Our friends at The Anti-Counterfeiting Group have already spent much of the past month keeping shoppers and businesses safe from counterfeits using Operation CAROL, aimed at closing down social media accounts selling counterfeit products over the Black Friday and Christmas periods. If you are worried about the credentials of an online website, let your local Trading Standards Office know - they are on the watch for fakes and online ‘piracy’ from fraudsters masquerading as authentic websites.
If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! Don’t let your hard-earned money fund international crime that could include drug and human trafficking.
Read more about the perils of buying fake goods and how the police, Trading Standards, port authorities and industry are working together to stamp out these illegal activities:
Cosmetics Europe, the European personal care association