With the run up to Christmas being aware of fake goods is really important. If an offer seems too good to be true it usually is. This is big business. Fake Apple Airpods for £20, Nike trainers for £30 and Chanel handbags for £35: in the news this month, the Police have acted in this space.
The Police have declared a crackdown on Manchester’s Counterfeit Alley where shoppers can buy fake Apple Airpods, Nike trainers and Chanel handbags for £35 — with knock-off products costing the UK economy £8 billion each year. Some criminals will fake goods, these can include fake clothes, bags, accessories and perfumes that look like genuine recognised brands.
This can also be poor-quality pirated copies of DVDs, CDs, and computer games. Fake goods can be sold at markets, in pubs or on the doorstep. Fakes can also be found on online auctions, websites, and marketplaces. You may not be able to tell the item is fake and then it arrives and it’s not what you thought you were buying.
It is illegal to apply a registered trademark to goods without the permission of the trademark owner. Copyright may be infringed if these goods are copied without the permission of the copyright owner.
If you buy something that isn’t as described, or is faulty, you have consumer rights. This means you should be entitled to a refund or an exchange of goods. However, people that sell fake items might not respond or you might not be able to find them.
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Report it to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or via actionfraud.police.uk. If you are in Scotland, please report to Police Scotland directly by calling 101 or Advice Direct Scotland on 0808 164 6000. Use Rightly to stop fraudsters sharing your data exposing you to scams.
Tips of the week
WhatsApp: Make your messages disappear. Go to the contact page of the person you want to use this feature with. From there, scroll down to ‘Disappearing Messages’, and tap ‘On’.
Remember: If you have received a text, you think is a scam then you can forward to 7726 or take a screenshot and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are receiving lots of unwanted phone calls or text messages you can also consider removing your details from data brokers, ensuring that you use a right to object to processing of your data. You can learn more about this on Rightly to stop the sharing of your data exposing you to scams. And you can take a free training course on how to fight against scams on www.friendsagainstscams.org.uk. The more we talk about scams the more we take away the shame.