News item

Trading standards clamp down on Christmas fakes

In their Christmas Crackdown on Counterfeiters, West Yorkshire Trading Standards has taken large quantities of potentially unsafe products off the market.
In a week long operation around West Yorkshire, officers have been following up on intelligence received and carrying out swoops in town centres in each of the five districts.
Products seized included makeup products, cigarette lighters, fake alcohol and cigarettes. Consumers would not necessarily know that some of the products were fake due to their high price. Some of the makeup was being sold for as much as £20 for a foundation, when the real product retails for about £25. Trading Standards has serious concerns about what counterfeit products may contain, with some ingredients in fake makeup being potentially harmful. One consumer complained about makeup stinging her eyes when applied. 
Other concerns are that counterfeit lighters might not have been made and tested in accordance with the British Standard and could therefore be unsafe.
Officers also seized large quantities of counterfeit alcohol and tobacco in Leeds. Counterfeit vodka previously tested by the West Yorkshire Public Analyst contained solvents used in industrial processes. Methylated spirit has also been found in counterfeit vodka with enough methanol to blind a person.   Consumers need to understand the seriousness of drinking alcohol which they know to be counterfeit, it can seriously damage their health.
Other products seized included fake perfume, which can be potentially unsafe, counterfeit “Beats by Dr Dre” headphones and Prada, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, and Premier Football club accessories.
Graham Hebblethwaite, Chief Officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards said, “We will do our utmost to remove counterfeit goods from the market. Such goods can be unsafe and take money away from legitimate traders and the UK economy”.
Councillor Neil Taggart, Chair of West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, which oversees the work of Trading Standards said “Consumers should be wary when making last minute Christmas purchases. If an offer appears too good to be true, it generally is. Look for established traders selling legitimate products and we should all have a safe, happy Christmas. If you suspect anyone of selling counterfeit goods, or want advice on goods you have bought, please get in touch through the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506”.
Fake designer goods destined for festive stockings and presents under the Christmas tree have been seized across Rhondda Cynon Taf by the Council’s Trading Standards team.

Officers from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have been working across the County Borough to tackle the increase in counterfeit goods being offered for sale to unassuming consumers.

A number of search warrants have been executed, leading to goods being seized and residents are urged to only buy goods from reputable or accredited suppliers and not from people in the pub or from vans.

Typical “brands” being seized or being subject to complaints are Ugg Boots, Superdry and Hollister Clothing, Beats by Dr Dre, headphones and ICE watches.

Cllr Paul Cannon, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Economic Development, said: “This is a busy time of the year for Trading Standards and their partners as complaints about counterfeit goods being offered for sale increase.

“Officers are working proactively across the County Borough and a number of investigations are currently underway following house searches and the seizure of clothing believed to be counterfeit.

“They are urging residents to be cautious and ensure they only buy goods from reputable or accredited sellers. People have worked hard all year and it is unfair they could be at risk of spending their hard-earned money on an item that is not the genuine article.

“It is also unfair on the legitimate traders who work hard to ensure they operate within the law. We want to protect them from people who sell fake designer clothing and jewellery from their homes or even vehicles.

“I hope this ongoing work reassures residents we are acting in their interest and protecting them from such activity. However, we need them to work with us and ensure they are careful consumers and that suspicious activity is reported.”