SHOPPERS planning to bag bargains at bank holiday markets or car boot sales have been urged to ensure their finds are the real deal to avoid an unhappy weekend.
Counterfeit items can prove more than just shoddy imitations, Staffordshire County Council has warned.
Hidden dangers can include hazardous chemicals in fake vodka that can lead to health problems, while fake perfume can burn skin, leave a nasty rash or even contain harmful lead.
Imitation sunglasses may offer no UVA protection, which could lead to eye damage, while counterfeit children’s toys could be unsafe and fake clothing for kids inflammable.
Most of the rogue goods seized by the council in 2014-15 were illicit tobacco products, although others included counterfeit electrical goods, clothes and cosmetics.
The sale of fake goods not only affects legitimate businesses but funds organised crime gangs, the council added.
County Councillor Mike Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Community Safety said: “Counterfeit goods are increasingly hard to detect just to look at, so when something is being sold at a knock-down price, people should be extremely wary. We always say that if something is too good to be true, it usually is.
“Anyone who buys counterfeit goods will land themselves with shoddy goods which may be dangerous and at the same time line criminals’ pockets.”
Anyone who sees counterfeit goods on sale can report incidents anonymously by calling the Staffordshire Fight the Fakes line on 01785 330356.
From the Staffordshire Newslettter
Read more: http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/Going-bargain-hunting-bank-holiday-weekend-Don-t/story-26270335-detail/story.html#ixzz3WGv96A6z