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Counterfeit goods fraud

What it is

When any product such as designer clothes, accessories, electricals or cosmetics are fake but sold as authentic.

They’re presented using the intellectual property of a well-known brand so the seller can make a large profit, even though to you it might look like a bargain.

Protect yourself

  • Check the quality and labels first. It’s easy to spot a fake as their labels have spelling mistakes or other distinguishing marks.
  • If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting a great deal.
  • Get the trader to tell you if they provide an after-sales service, warranty or guarantee. Most rogue traders don’t.

Spot the signs

  • You’ve bought an item and found it’s not made by the brand it claims to be from.
  • It’s poor quality, which might make the product unusable or even unsafe.
  • Many counterfeit goods are sold at car boot sales, pubs, markets or fairs. This makes it difficult to trace the seller once you’ve bought.

How it happens

Counterfeit goods include fake clothes, bags, accessories and perfumes that imitate recognised brands, as well as poor-quality pirated copies of DVDs, CDs and computer games. They can be sold at markets, in pubs or door-to-door. Counterfeits can also be found at online auctions and web marketplaces, where you have no way of checking whether the products are genuine until you’ve paid and had them delivered.

If you buy something that isn’t as described, or isn’t satisfactory quality, you have statutory rights. This means you should be entitled to a refund or an exchange of goods. However, counterfeit sellers aren’t easy to track down.

If you buy counterfeit goods, you’re helping the trader to break the law. The money you’ve spent ends up funding organised crime such as drug dealing. You’re also contributing to job losses because genuine manufacturers are unable to match prices charged by rogue traders. Worst of all, you’re putting yourself at risk: some counterfeits can be dangerous to use and in some cases are made using toxic substances.

How to report it

If Fraud has been committed report it to Action Fraud. For more advice and to raise any concerns, contact the Office of the Public Guardian.

Source - Action Fraud

Date Published: Jul 21, 2018

Types of fraud

A-Z of fraud

To help understand which fraud you've been affected by, we've categorised them into an alphabetical list.

What is fraud and cyber crime?

Fraud is when trickery is used to gain a dishonest advantage, which is often financial, over another person.

Advance fee fraud

Advance fee fraud is when fraudsters target victims to make advance or upfront payments for goods, services and/or financial gains that do not materialise.

Corporate fraud

Corporate fraud can be any fraud committed against a business.

Individual fraud

Individual fraud could be any fraud that targets a person directly. Individual frauds can differ from frauds affecting businesses and other organisations.

Online fraud

Some fraudsters rely on the internet to commit their crimes. Learn about some different types of internet frauds that and how to protect yourself and get safe online.

Identity fraud and identity theft

Identity theft is when your personal details are stolen and identity fraud is when those details are used to commit fraud.
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