Warning of counterfeit goods
Staffordshire bargain hunters are being urged to be aware of counterfeit goods when visiting car boot sales or markets over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. The county council’s trading standards team are warning people 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. Popular fakes include designer clothing, sportswear, headphones, toiletries, alcohol and tobacco and over the last few years officers have seized millions of pounds of fake goods. Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member for Communities and Culture at Staffordshire County Council said: “This is a busy time for our Trading Standards officers and we’re keen to remind people to be on their guard for counterfeit items. “Fakes can be really hard to detect just to look at, so when something is being sold at a knock-down price, people should be extremely wary. We always say that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. “Anyone who buys counterfeit goods will not only land themselves with poor quality and possibly dangerous goods but will also be helping to line criminals’ pockets too. We want to protect the public and legitimate businesses and we will continue to target counterfeiters.” Some of the hidden dangers of counterfeit goods include: • 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 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 anonymous Staffordshire Fight the Fakes line on 01785 330356.