What are counterfeit goods?
Counterfeit goods are fake goods passed off as originals. They include fake designer clothing and accessories, perfumes, pirate DVDs, CDs and computer games, fake cigarettes and alcohol.
Many counterfeit goods are sold at car boot sales, pubs, markets or fairs making it difficult to trace the fraudster once you have bought from them.
You may also come across fake goods online.
If the price of an article seems too good to be true – then it almost certainly is.
How does counterfeiting affect you?
There are numerous reasons to avoid buying counterfeit goods.
For a start, you are helping the trader break the law and many fraudsters use the proceeds from selling counterfeit goods to fund drug dealing, people smuggling or other types of organised crime.
You will also deprive the genuine manufacturers of of income which could be used to create jobs and design new products.
In addition, buying fake goods also contributes to job losses because genuine manufacturers and traders are unable to 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 substandard, possibly dangerous and may even contain hazardous substances.
What you should do
If you buy goods that are not as described, counterfeit or not original, you may be able to use your statutory rights against the seller. By their nature, however, counterfeit goods sellers are not the easiest people to track down. It is much better to avoid them in the first place.
Anyone caught selling fakes can be fined an unlimited amount, face up to ten years in prison and have their assets seized under proceeds of crime legislation.
Other sources of advice
If you think you have unknowingly been sold counterfeit goods, or if you suspect somebody is selling fake goods, please contact the fakes hotline on 0845 894 1008 or visit CenTSA hotline