The many risks of buying counterfeit goods and how to avoid them

The many risks of buying counterfeit goods and how to avoid them

light build with slogan - stop fakesCounterfeit goods are sold all over the world, and include items like designer clothing, bags, and accessories, perfumes, computer games, cosmetics, watches, children’s toys, and a host of others. Many of these fake goods are sold at markets and fairs, car boot sales, and even in pubs, making it hard to trace the swindler after you have bought from them. While these fake items are most of the time a lot cheaper than the real thing, the majority of them are substandard, potentially dangerous, and many times, even contain toxic substances. Some examples include:

Children’s toys – Disney toys are extremely popular, and frequently targeted by fraudsters who know that parents will buy them willingly for their children, especially at Christmas time. However, while many parents are excited at getting the current favourite Disney toy for their child, they should avoid buying them at all costs, since they are known to contain high quantities of chemicals called phthalates, which can lead to asthma, cancer, as well as fertility problems such as malformed genitalia in male children, which cause fertility problems later in life. Many counterfeit toys are also made with tiny components, which are a choking hazard for small children.

Fake alcohol – avoid buying fake alcohol, even though it might seem like a real bargain to you. If it’s not the real thing, there’s a good chance that you will suffer nausea, liver or kidney problems, coma, or even death. This is due to the fact that most of the fake items more than likely contain dangerous substances like antifreeze, fuel, and methanol.

Christmas lights – people in the UK spend in excess of 90 million pounds on fake goods every year. Part of one of the biggest hauls ever, that was stopped by border staff from entering the country, were about 3000 Christmas lights. Since they were incorrectly insulated, they would have resulted in people being shocked, fires breaking out, and even explosions occurring.

Cosmetics – countless shoppers are tricked into buying fake cosmetics that are designed to look like top brands, because they imagine these items to be good bargains. Apart from being bamboozled into parting with their hard-earned money, many of the fake products they buy are incredibly dangerous. Even worse, is that some of these replicated products that are available online, at mall kiosks, and flea markets, actually cost in the region of the real thing, which is a ploy to prevent the buyer from becoming suspicious.

It’s not only fake makeup that is sold however, but also hair care products, as well as accessories such as makeup applicator brushes. Many counterfeit products, according to the authorities, are found to contain beryllium, cadmium, and arsenic, all of which are known cancer-causing chemicals. Some of them have been found to be infected with bacteria, as well as exceedingly high levels of metals like aluminium, which are usually not dangerous at all.

Perfumes and colognes – serious skin rashes have been caused by some bogus perfumes and colognes, due to urine being one of their ingredients. According to a dermatologist, the unsavoury ingredients used in the manufacture of fake perfumes can cause scaling, acne, dermatitis, and eczema, especially on facial skin.

Fake clothing such as Halloween and pop-star outfits commonly do not comply to European safety standards. This can impose obvious dangers. It is not long ago that Claudia Winkelman’s daughter suffered serious injuries after a fancy dress costume caught fire.

There is also indirect danger that results from buying any fake goods. Take counterfeit watches, for example, which are often made in unlicensed and unregulated factories. In these sweatshops, the workers are often working in dangerous conditions e.g. lack of sanitation, extreme heat, rat infestation and a lack of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and first-aid.  And we should not forget the case of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013 when more than 1,100 workers died. So the act of buying these goods contributes heavily towards the support of these illegal and dangerous practices.

Counterfeit goods are found everywhere, even on well-known online sites like eBay and Amazon. To avoid buying these fake products, and becoming a victim of the dangers they pose, visit our article for some great tips to avoid buying fake goods.

In addition to offering these helpful tips, Surelock also offers a service for their clients, where they carry out surveillance and covert operations to identify offenders, and confiscate their counterfeit goods, including the ones that are dangerous to consumers.