People in the market for a Mother’s Day gift are being reminded about the risk of buying counterfeit goods.
To help shoppers avoid these scams, Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards service are offering their top tips on how to spot and avoid counterfeit gifts.
Counterfeiters often mimic popular brands and create counterfeit products which are similar in appearance but lack the quality and safety standards of the original product. They often sell their products at lower prices to attract unsuspecting consumers. These goods can be offered to people online, on social media and at car boot sales and local markets.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said: “We would always remind people to be on their guard for counterfeit items when shopping and always opt for genuine products that meet safety and quality standards.
“Nobody wants their Mother’s Day spoiled by substandard goods that could harm them or leave them out of pocket, so it’s always worth looking out for those tell-tale signs. Be aware of cheap prices, take note of where the product is being sold and pay attention to the packaging and labelling of the items.
“Fakes such as perfumes, toiletries, candles or jewellery can be hard to detect but asking yourself some simple questions can keep you safe. We always say that if something is too good to be true, it usually is.”
To avoid counterfeit gifts, shoppers should:
Shop from reputable retailers: Buying gifts from reputable retailers and online marketplaces can help ensure that you're purchasing genuine products.
Be cautious of online ads and promotions: Scammers often use online ads and promotions to lure consumers into buying counterfeit products. Be cautious of ads that promise big discounts or unrealistic savings.
Double check the packaging and labelling: Look for any signs of poor quality, such as misspellings, incorrect logos, or low-quality printing. Genuine products will have consistent labelling and packaging.
Compare prices: If a product is being sold at a much lower price than usual, it may be a counterfeit. Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true.
Examine the product: Counterfeit products may have a different weight, texture, or smell than the original product. If the product doesn't feel or look right, it may be a fake.
Further advice on avoiding counterfeit goods is available at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/report-fake-or-counterfeit-goods
People can report the sales of counterfeit goods on the Staffordshire Fight the Fakes helpline on 01785 330356. Or report a business online to Staffordshire Trading Standards Reporting to Trading Standards - Citizens Advice