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Counterfeit warning for bank holiday bargain hunters

People in search of bargains this August bank holiday weekend are being reminded that counterfeit goods could be offered to them when visiting a car boot sale or market.


Staffordshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers are warning residents that counterfeit goods are often poor quality imitations that will leave them out of pocket and in cases of fake alcohol and tobacco, could also be harmful to their health.


Last year the service helped to remove 23,400 dangerous, unsafe goods with a street value of £820,000 from the marketplace.  In the same period, the service seized over 290,000 illicit cigarettes with a street value of £165,000.


Popular fakes include designer clothing, sportswear, sunglasses, toiletries, alcohol and tobacco.


Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said: “The August bank holiday weekend is always a popular time for car boot sales and markets and a busy time for counterfeiters.


“It can be really tempting to buy fake goods but it’s a bad idea. You’ll not only end up with poor quality and possibly dangerous goods but you’ll also be helping line criminals pockets too. We want to protect the public and legitimate businesses and we will continue to target counterfeiters and the gangs behind them.”


Some reasons not to buy counterfeit goods

• Counterfeit alcohol such as vodka contains dangerous chemicals which can cause many health problems such as blindness

• Counterfeit perfume can often burn skin or leave a nasty rash and may contain lead

• Fake sunglasses often offer no UVA protection, causing eye damage

• Fake tobacco and vaping products often contains unknown chemicals

• Counterfeit children's toys can often be unsafe with unsuitable small parts and children's clothes may be flammable.


People can report counterfeit goods sales on the Staffordshire Fight the Fakes helpline on 01785 330356.


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