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Consumer advice and protection

Get advice

You can get free confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues from our partner organisation Citizens Advice.

Make a complaint

Contact Citizens Advice to make a complaint about a local business or report a breach of Trading Standards law. Citizens advice work closely with Trading Standards to ensure complaints are passed on to us for our consideration or in serious cases for action.

Counterfeit goods

Counterfeit goods are fake goods passed off as originals. Selling counterfeit goods is a crime.

This can include:

  • fake designer clothing and accessories
  • fake perfumes
  • pirate DVDs, CDs and computer games
  • fake cigarettes and alcohol

If the price of something seems too good to be true then it usually is.

Fraudsters often sell counterfeit goods at:

  • car boot sales
  • pubs
  • markets or fair

This makes it difficult to trace the seller once you have bought from them. You may also come across fake goods online.

Why you should not buy counterfeit goods

Buying counterfeit goods helps traders break the law. Fraudsters often use the money to fund organised crime, for example drug dealing or people smuggling.

Buying counterfeit goods means genuine manufacturers do not get the income from sales. They could use this to create jobs and design new products. Genuine traders cannot match prices charged by rogue traders.

Rogue traders do not pay tax on their profits meaning that we all have to pay more.

Counterfeit goods are usually of poorer quality. They can be dangerous and may even contain hazardous substances.  

What you can do

If you buy counterfeit goods, you might be able to use your statutory rights against the seller. However, it can be hard to track down counterfeit goods sellers. It is much better to avoid them in the first place.

Contact us if you have accidentally bought counterfeit goods, or you think someone is selling fake goods.

You can also anonymously contact the Central England Trading Standards Authorities (CEnTSA).

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