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Issued by Action Fraud July 2015
People looking for a cheap designer bargains online are being targeted by fraudsters advertising fake designer goods. The items received are usually cheap and inferior counterfeits of handbags, clothes and sunglasses amongst other things.
The general rule is ‘if it looks too good to be true then it probably is.’ Designer products sold at heavily discounted prices are an immediate sign that something isn’t quite right.
What can you do to protect yourself?
- Where possible, buy from well-known, High Street retailers. If you've never heard of a firm, or it is based overseas, be sceptical.
- Avoid paying by cheque or bank transfer. Use PayPal or a credit card as they will give you additional protection.
- Search the internet. Type the website you are buying from and look for reviews of what others customers are saying about the company. Bad customer service feedback usually finds their way online quite quickly.
- Check for spelling mistakes or poor grammar on websites as this may suggest the website has been put together by a fraudster.
- Sign up to Action Fraud Alert to keep you updated with what’s going on.
- Fake cosmetics can either be repackaged cheaper brands, such as 'Ponds face cream' or contain extremely dangerous chemicals leading to serious skin damage. Never, ever buy fake cosmetics for yourself, your friends or family as they will not have been tested.
- Fake goods are manufactured in poor countries and the workers are often paid a pittance. Buying these goods simply rewards the criminals and extends the misery of those employed by them
- Buying fake goods recks British industry, causes unemployment and reduces the tax take for our government
If you believe that you have been the victim of fraud you can report it online to Action Fraud or by telephone 0300 123 2040.