Posted on Wednesday 7th December 2022
Staffordshire Trading Standards Officers
People in Staffordshire are being reminded about the risks of buying counterfeit goods as retailers reveal the most popular toys this Christmas.
With shoppers scrambling to get their hands on the latest Christmas toys, Staffordshire County Council’s trading standards officers are reminding people not to be tempted to buy or be duped by counterfeit goods.
Additional cost of living pressures are also expected to increase the risk of unscrupulous traders taking advantage of consumers looking for a bargain, with scams, misleading claims and unrealistic offers on the rise.
Buying fakes does not only help to line the pockets of criminals but they can also be harmful, especially when it comes to things like alcohol or even unsafe children’s toys. They can be offered to people at car boot sales, local markets, on social network websites and online.
Popular fakes this Christmas will include the latest children’s toys, electronics, branded clothing, toiletries and alcohol.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said:
“This is a particularly busy time of year for criminals, counterfeiters and scammers and is why we’re reminding people of the risks of buying counterfeit goods.
“There’s always a rush for the latest toys and gifts in the run up to Christmas and when they become difficult to get, people can be tempted to buy counterfeits, which is never a good idea. This, coupled with the additional cost of living pressures that families are facing, can mean people may think they are getting a good deal, but the reality is that counterfeits are inferior/poor quality, not always made to safety standards and can pose safety risks.
“You might think you’re getting a bargain if you opt for fakes but in the long term, you’ll end up out of pocket. Plus, counterfeiting helps fund organised crime and affects genuine traders, so please don’t be tempted and be vigilant when shopping.”
Some of the most sought after children’s gifts this year include:
- LEGO Creator Expert: Santa’s Visit
- Hot Wheels City Ultimate Garage Track Set Bundle
- Jiggly Pets Pink Pup
- The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy
- I’m a Stylist Styling Head Ella
- Vtech JotBot
- LeMieux Pony
- John Lewis Wooden Work Bench
- Play-Doh Kitchen Creations Ultimate Ice Cream Truck Playset
Further advice on avoiding counterfeit goods is available at https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/consumer/somethings-gone-wrong-with-a-purchase/report-fake-or-counterfeit-goods
People can report the sales of counterfeit goods on the Staffordshire Fight the Fakes helpline on 01785 330356. Or report a business online to Staffordshire Trading Standards Reporting to Trading Standards - Citizens Advice