Counterfeit goods are a huge problem and they are becoming more widely available. Technology levels have improved so much that it is easy for criminals to make sophisticated copies.
What are the most common fakes?
- designer labelled clothes, watches, perfume and cosmetics
- CD's and DVD's
- computer software, such as games
- vehicle parts
- DIY tools
How can you avoid buying fakes?
Top tips to avoid buying fakes include:
- be suspicious about bargains. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is!
- find out if you have any guarantees or after-sales service
- examine the quality of the goods
- check labels and packaging for misspellings and poor logos
- take extra care at car boot sales, pubs and computer fairs, or in other situations where it may be more difficult to get in touch with the trader after the purchase.
You should also guard against buying fakes on the Internet.
Why should you avoid buying fakes?
There are lots of reasons why you should not buy fakes - and some that you may not have considered before.
- The goods may be dangerous - from cosmetics that can cause skin rashes to fake car parts that may cause accidents.
- A lot of fake goods fund drug dealers and other organised crime - even terrorism.
- You may end up paying higher taxes because people who deal in fakes don't - consumers like you end up making up the difference.
- You may be putting local people out of jobs because genuine manufacturers can't compete with the criminals making and selling fakes.
- If you buy fake goods and they don't live up to your expectations, you won't get any after sales service or guarantees.
- Fake goods deprive the copyright owner of money that can be used to fund new development