You may have read the disturbing news about police raids and the discovery of many counterfeit cosmetic products, and we want to urge everyone to take care to only buy their cosmetics products from reputable sources. The latest finds are a result of the City of London Police's 'Wake Up Don't Fake Up' awareness campaign. The police, Trading Standards and port authorities in cooperation with brand owners are working together to stop this type of illegal activity in the interests of consumer safety.
There are reports that fake make-up, claiming to be well-known brands, containing illegal amounts of heavy metals, is being sold online. The problem with counterfeit products is that the packaging and look of the product can be almost impossible to tell from the real thing. Unfortunately, the product inside is nothing like the genuine product. Not only is it not likely to work as well as it should, it may actually be unsafe and cause you harm.
Counterfeit Sun Protection Products
It has been reported that counterfeit sun protection products are also being produced and that it is unlikely that these will offer the level of sun protection claimed on pack.
The implications of counterfeit products can be really bad, and this is most certainly going to be the case with counterfeit sun protection products. We would urge you to be vigilant when buying sunscreens and to only buy from reputable sources.
Counterfeiting doesn't just affect cosmetic products, of course. It is an unfortunate fact that counterfeiters target nearly every type of consumer product as well as important sectors such as medical, automotive and foods.
Always make sure you buy your products from reputable outlets. Be suspicious of any products offered for sale from unusual places such as car boot sales, markets or less well-known internet sites. Always be wary of offers that seem "too good to be true". Remember, using counterfeit products could cause actual harm. The authorities say that proceeds from such crime also fund other serious organised crimes such as drugs, arms and people trafficking, ID theft, money laundering and child pornography amongst others.
The cosmetics industry takes your safety seriously. CTPA is concerned that such counterfeit and illegal products could jeopardise your safety and also threaten the trust that millions of consumer have in the many, many legal and safe products available and used today.
For more information on what to do if you suspect a counterfeit product, visit our dedicated section on counterfeiting.
The 'Wake Up Don't Fake Up' website carries the following message:
"The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) have today (18th May) launched an awareness campaign warning consumers of the risks posed by fake beauty products.
In a call for consumers to 'Wake up - don't fake up!' the City of London Police unit is highlighting the dangers of buying and using counterfeit goods such as make-up, perfume, electrical hair stylers and sun-cream. In the UK it is estimated that consumers spend at least £90 million every year on fake goods and with the popularity of the internet and online shopping, the production and sale of fake goods on the web is increasing. Counterfeit beauty products in particular are becoming increasingly common and easily available on auction sites, online market places, rogue websites and social media.
In the last 18 months, PIPCU has helped to protect consumers from being ripped off online by suspending more than 5,500 websites selling fake luxury branded goods as well as seizing more than £3.5million worth of fake goods."