Fake Superdry clothes and Apple chargers could be among 'dangerous' counterfeit items for sale in Norfolk this Christmas, Trading Standards warns
PUBLISHED: 21:52 10 December 2017 | UPDATED: 21:52 10 December 2017
Shoppers have been urged to avoid counterfeit - and potentially unsafe - versions of popular presents such as Superdry hoodies and Apple chargers as they hunt for bargains this Christmas.
In a stark warning that buying a real or a fake version could be the difference between a present someone cherishes or a gift that kills them, Norfolk Trading Standards said people need to be particularly vigilant for counterfeit Calvin Klein and Superdry clothes this Christmas, along with Dyson air blowers, Kylie Jenner cosmetics and Gilette razor blades.
Their advice against “dangerous” counterfeits follows an investigation by this newspaper, which showed fake Fingerlings are being sold to parents eager to get their hands on this Christmas’ must-have toy.
Officers have warned people to be on their guard for goods that might be unsafe, as they do not have to go through the same safety tests as bona fide items.
“There is a lot to be said for buying brand name goods from reputable established sellers,” a Trading Standards spokesman said.
“You know that those who unwrap your gifts are getting something they can cherish, not something that could kill them.
“Our advice this Christmas is as ever that shoppers would do well to be on their guard for counterfeit or unsafe goods.
“If a bargain looks too good to be true, it very likely is and could well turn out to be a bad buy.
“Counterfeit goods are never a good buy. They often are found to be dangerous as they will not have been subject to the rigorous testing that the genuine ones will have undergone.”
Many of the goods are being sold at ‘pop up’ shops in town and city centres - but the spokesman warned: “These shops appear this time of the year and are gone by Christmas. You can’t go back and get your grievances sorted if the seller is not there anymore.”
They also said it was worth looking out for counterfeit spirits, particularly vodka - although they are not aware of any being sold in Norfolk at present.
And they said online shopping “is the area where buyers need to be the most diligent” and encouraged buyers to look closely at websites and any reviews.
“Check that the web address is that of the genuine supplier you think it is – even one letter difference will show that it is likely to be a rogue seller,” the spokesman said.
“Buying over social media sites is particularly an area where counterfeiters will try to hide from the scrutiny of Trading Standards and the real goods manufacturers.”
“Be particularly aware when going for ‘free subscriptions’ or ‘free trials’, as these almost invariably tie you into a contract which you (should) be able to get out of if you tell the supplier you want to pull out.”
Anyone who spots a counterfeit item should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 between 9am and 5pm, Mondays to Fridays.