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Risks Of Counterfeit Goods This Christmas

Christmas has always presented a fertile opportunity for scammers and unscrupulous retailers. In recent times, this has become even more pronounced with the increasing popularity of online shopping and the advent of bumper sales days. According to auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers, the average UK adult will spend around £280 on Christmas gifts this year. However, in the rush to get the best possible deal, many of us are falling foul of counterfeiters – whose imitations of real products are becoming increasingly difficult to spot. Patricia Gibson, MP for North Ayrshire & Arran, and Consumer Affairs Spokesperson for the SNP, commented that: “Counterfeit goods are becoming more and more of a problem, especially at Christmas time. However, the issue is not just to do with people being ripped off, or ending up with an item that is fake, as many counterfeit products actually pose a danger to the consumer. “For example, counterfeit electrical goods like laptops and phone chargers often have missing electrical components which can lead to severe electric shocks, and may even present a fire risk. Other counterfeit products such as alcohol and cosmetics have been known to include erroneous substances such as methanol and lead, which can lead to severe health problems. “Customers should be vigilant, and ensure that they buy from reputable retailers wherever possible as well as shopping around to compare prices. If a particular product is significantly cheaper than an identical product in a number of other shops, there’s a good chance it’s not the real deal. “The risks associated with counterfeit goods really cannot be overemphasised, and I would urge shoppers this Christmas to bear in mind that at best a cheap deal is often a false economy, at worst however, it could be a serious health risk”.

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