Check your stocking for counterfeit goods this christmas

Christmas shoppers in search of a last minute bargain may be at real risk of harm from counterfeit goods. Whether buyers think they are simply avoiding paying a premium for a big brand, or unwittingly purchase imitation goods, the dangers to health are significant. Not least because counterfeiters specifically produce items that are likely to be in demand as gifts, in order to target the Christmas market.

Poor quality electrical products that may be purchased as gifts or decorations (such as Christmas lights) can cause a fire hazard, electric shock or even explosions. Cheap materials in fake cosmetics and toiletries can cause poisoning and skin irritation; while consuming imitation alcohol can be fatal.

Of significant concern is the counterfeiters that target the market for toys, as they are putting children at risk of serious harm from poorly manufactured items made from toxic materials that don’t meet safety requirements.

The Trading Standards Institute advises avoiding sellers on the street, pub, car boot sales, and social media routes; buying only from reputable stores online and on the high street. This will ensure a safe Christmas and avoid funding the activities of the organised crime groups responsible for directing dangerous products into people’s homes.

From our own research in the past we have seen how goods find themselves into the supply chain. Corrupt agents and careless procurement departments who don’t check the authenticity of those they buy from also play their part. Then there are members of the public who buy from the internet without being sure that the sellers are really who they say they are.

To find out about Perpetuity’s research into counterfeiting visit

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