Trading Standards urge Christmas shoppers to 'keep it real'
Posted on 30 Nov 2021
Christmas shoppers beware – disreputable traders are ready and waiting to take advantage of consumers though scams or the sale of counterfeit goods.
With the Christmas shopping rush now in full swing, the public are being warned to be wary of some of the most common fake goods – make-up, toys and designer clothes, alcohol and electrical goods, all of which can pose a serious danger.
By purchasing fake goods, consumers are helping the trader break the law and many fraudsters use the proceeds from selling counterfeit goods to fund drug dealing and other organised crime.
Buying counterfeit products also contributes to job losses as genuine manufacturers are unable to match prices charged by rogue traders. Many fakes are substandard, possibly dangerous and may even contain hazardous substances.
Council Leader Joe Cullinane is advising people to be extra vigilant and take steps to safeguard against fraudulent and disreputable traders: “The sale of counterfeit goods is illegal and it can be extremely difficult to seek redress in the event of something going wrong. For this reason, it is important to remember the old adage that if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is.
“It is also important to be aware of the huge consequences for those caught selling counterfeits – heavy fines, imprisonment and a criminal record. Those caught selling fake goods at their place of work also risk losing their jobs.
“For advice or to report a problem to Trading Standards, call 01294 310100 or for consumer advice call North Ayrshire Citizens Advice Service on 01294 608142.”
Guard against knock-off goods by carrying out due diligence – buy from a legitimate supplier such as a reputable high street retailer to ensure that you can return goods if something goes wrong.
Here’s some top tips on how you can avoid buying fakes:
- Be suspicious about bargains – if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Check if you have any guarantees or after-sales service.
- Examine the quality of the goods.
- Check labels and packaging for misspellings and poor logos.
- Take extra care at street markets, car boot sales, pubs and other situations where it may be more difficult to get in touch with the trader after the purchase.
- You should always guard against buying fakes on the internet – check reviews before purchasing