A new campaign has been launched today (11 February) to show counterfeiters how serious their crimes are, and what happens when they are caught by trading standards officers. Sasha Watson from Suffolk trading standards explains:
Are you selling counterfeits? Well if so, Suffolk trading standards may be knocking at your door very soon!
Every year, trading standards, receive floods of complaints from consumers who have unwittingly purchased counterfeit goods online, thinking that they are getting a genuine bargain. Often goods are described as genuine and are offered at discounted prices. Unfortunately however, when the goods arrive they are poor quality replicas.
Counterfeit goods are ‘fake’ goods, normally copies holding logos or brand names which are registered as trade marks. Common counterfeit goods include illicit tobacco, designer labelled clothes, alcohol, CDs and DVDs, computer software and games, watches, perfume and cosmetics.
Increasingly, counterfeiters are using social media sites such as Facebook to try and sell their wares, thinking that they can hide away from the police and trading standards. However, that is far from the truth and Suffolk trading standards will be showing the counterfeiters exactly what could happen to them if they continue to flout the law.
You can watch a “live” raid on a premise of a counterfeiter by following the Suffolk trading standards Twitter and Facebook accounts. Photos will be posted throughout the day, along with details of the raid and what happens to the counterfeiter whilst they investigate them. You will see the whole investigation play out from start to finish.
Consumers can avoid counterfeits goods by using Brand-i, a website allowing people to search for branded goods sold by outlets approved by the brands. Anyone who suspects a trader or individual of selling counterfeit goods can report them to trading standards through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.