Intellectual Property (IP) Crime / Counterfeiting
Counterfeit products are fake replicas of the real product and are often produced with the intent to take advantage of the superior value of the imitated product.
The word counterfeit frequently describes the imitations of goods such as clothing, handbags, shoes, pharmaceutical, watches, electronics, software, toys and films. Counterfeit products tend to have fake company logos and brands, and have a reputation for being low quality, unsafe and may even include toxic chemicals.
Counterfeit Goods and IP Theft are sometimes considered ‘victimless’ crimes, but this is far from the truth as fake products can endanger your wallet, the local economy and can potentially cause injury.
The huge profits from IP crime are used to fund other serious organised crimes such as people smuggling, drugs, guns, child pornography and even terrorism.
Check if an item is fake
Examine any items you are thinking of buying carefully. Poor quality labels and packaging on perfumes and cosmetics can often indicate that the items inside are not genuine. If you are buying CDs and DVDs be wary of any with poor quality inlay cards, no artist name on the label or disc face and no outer cellophane wrapping. CDs that are not silver will be copies. Also look out for CDs and DVDs, without security holograms and photocopied labels.
Search for genuine products from brand owner approved shops by visiting the Brand-i website.
You can report someone selling fake goods to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service either online or by phone: