What are Counterfeit Goods?
Counterfeit goods are fake goods that are deliberately created to look like registered goods. The sale of counterfeit goods has become a national problem as more and more fake goods have become available. Counterfeit goods are also known as 'pirates', 'replicas' or 'copies'. Amongst the different types of counterfeit goods that are widely available are clothing, jewellery, electrical goods, perfume, car batteries and children's toys.
You might think you're getting a bargain, but you need to be cautious. Large companies don't give substantial discounts on items and you could be cheated into paying a large sum of money for a dangerous or inferior item.
Why should I avoid buying counterfeit goods? :
Breaking the law
If a company has registered the design / logo (Trade mark) of a product it is illegal to buy counterfeit goods that use that design/ logo without their permission. Buying counterfeit goods will afford the seller the funding to continue with their criminality.
In the majority of cases fake goods are of poor quality and / or potentially dangerous e.g. -
- Children's clothing - fake children's clothing will not have been tested in accordance with safety legislation – if at all.
- Sun glasses – may not protect your eyes from harmful rays
- Electrical Goods – May not have been tested in accordance with electrical safety legislation - if at all.
If buying counterfeit goods over the internet, you are at risk of releasing information about yourself or your bank details to offenders.
Counterfeit items are often sold at much lower prices than the genuine item and will inevitably be inferior quality to the genuine item. Sellers of counterfeit goods very rarely have a complaints procedure and are unlikely to offer any form of financial redress in the event of the goods being faulty or inferior.
Effect on the local economy
The buying and selling of counterfeit goods can affect legitimate businesses. There may be a knock on effect on the local economy e.g. shop / factory closures, redundancies.
Counterfeit and the law
People who reproduce goods using registered Trade Marks when not authorised to do so are likely to be committing a criminal offence under the Trade Marks Acts 1994 or The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
How can I protect myself?
- Check the URL when buying on-line, often there will be spelling mistakes in the URL and on the website
- Check where the trader is based. Be cautious if there isn't an address, only an e-mail address or a PO Box Number.
- If making an on-line payment check that the URL starts with 'https'
- If you’re using a website for the first time - do your research. People are always sharing their experiences and warning others in on-line forums
- Don't open links in e-mails
- Ensure that your security software is up to date
- Do NOT assume that a ‘.co.uk’ website is based in the UK. Criminals have developed a way of disguising the true location from where they operate.
Don’t short change yourself, buy genuine and report counterfeit goods to us!
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