The link between counterfeit goods and organised crime is well-established, over €83 billion is lost every year and €14.3 billion lost to the government as a direct result of counterfeiting and piracy.
Many shoppers knowingly buy fake goods, thinking its harmless but they would be shocked to learn their money goes straight into the pockets of major organised and global criminal gangs funding serious crime such as drugs, guns and people-smuggling, child pornography and even terrorist activity.
We are working in partnership with the police to carry out regular intelligence-led checks and raids targeting those selling counterfeit goods in Staffordshire.
How do I report counterfeit goods?
If you have any information about counterfeit goods please contact Staffordshire Trading Standards Confidential on 01785 330356.
You can also report your intelligence on fake goods on the Trading Standards Authorities web site.
Preventing your business suffering from counterfeiting and piracy
The IP Crime Group has produced a video explaining how you can prevent your business suffering from counterfeiting and piracy.
The Real Deal Charter
Staffordshire market and car boot sale organisers can now sign up to the Real Deal charter to demonstrate their commitment to tackling counterfeit goods and keeping visitors safe, ensuring goods sold at their events are legitimate and that visitors aren’t being ripped off.
Markets that have joined the campaign:
For more information please see the Real Deal website.
Real Deal in the news: Newcastle-under-Lyme Market is the Real Deal | Real Deal Markets
The hidden dangers
Consumers are not only supporting illegal and criminal trades but they could also be potentially damaging their own health as fake products haven't been put through the same rigorous safety standards genuine goods have.
- Fake spirits such as vodka have caused liver damage and even blindness.
- Counterfeit perfume can burn skin or leave a nasty rash.
- Fake sunglasses offer no UVA protection, causing eye damage.
- Fake cigarettes / tobacco may contain unknown chemicals.
- Counterfeit children's toys are often unsafe with unsuitable small parts and children's clothes may be inflammable.
- Consumer awareness is key to stopping consumers buying fake goods.
Top 5 products investigated by us
Top 10 locations
- Social media
- Private homes
- Auction sites
- Outdoor markets
- Car boot sales
- Factories/industrial units
Top 5 links to other criminality
- Benefit fraud
- Drug dealing
- Money laundering
- Organised crime network
Please see the Anti Counterfeiting Group website.