Fake goods are unauthorised copies of products and are illegal. They are also known by slang terms such as ‘counterfeit'’ 'pirated' ‘snides’ ‘replicas’ ‘copies’ etc.
Counterfeit products can include clothing, music, film , perfume, jewellery, car parts, tyres, tools, electrical goods, batteries and children's toys etc.
These products may seem like a bargain but you may be duped into paying the retail price for what you believed was a genuine item or even something that is unsafe.
Why you shouldn't buy counterfeit goods
- The goods may be poor quality, faulty and are often unsafe to use.
- If the fake goods are faulty, you will have difficulty returning them or getting your money back.
- Sales of fake goods have been proven to fund organised crime, such as drug dealing, human trafficking and prostitution. They can also provide an additional, undeclared income to benefit cheats.
- If you buy fake goods, the original designer and maker lose out, the knock on effect can seriously damage genuine retailers and in the worst case scenario, cost jobs.
- People who sell counterfeit goods don't pay taxes on what they sell and again this costs the economy and affects everyone in the UK
How to spot them
Price, place and packaging can all be indicators of whether something is genuine. Supermarkets, well-known retailers and brand-name websites are much less likely to sell fakes. But a vast range of products for sale in the street, in temporary shops, markets or online could be counterfeit.
How can I report counterfeiting?
You can report a person producing or selling counterfeit goods, by contacting citizens advice on 03454 040506 or by completing an the citizens advice online enquiry form.
If you would like to report someone without giving your name, then you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or completing their online form.