Everyone loves a bargain and over Black Friday and Cyber Monday UK shoppers are on the look-out for some great deals before Christmas.
Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday continue to grow in popularity in the UK. According to recent figures, the amount spent with UK online retail sites last year was almost £1.4bn. Reports also showed that Cyber Monday actually surpassed Black Friday, with over £3 billion being spent by UK shoppers.
However, The Anti-Counterfeiting Group want you to be aware that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are also key dates for organised international networks of counterfeiters. Operating behind sophisticated looking sales sites, they use fake trademarks, brands and emblems and bogus certification labels to entice customers into thinking they are buying genuine, safe, products.
Unfortunately, the reality is quite different as the fakers end up shipping shoddy, sub-standard and, increasingly, dangerous goods. Over 30% of fake goods detained by customs last year had the potential to endanger consumers.
Alongside this there is a risk that your bank details could be captured, leaving you out of pocket and your money used for crimes such as people and drug trafficking, money laundering and child exploitation.
So what can we do to protect ourselves?
Check who you are buying from
If you’re on foot go to a reputable store but if you’re shopping online remember that over 80% of fakes come from China. So if the shipping address looks to be in China or Hong Kong take extra special care.
Don’t be too hasty
Check the price of the product against other sites. You may even get the same deal from the original manufacturers.
Finally, the old adage still rings true if the price looks too good to be true it probably is
For tips on how to avoid being caught out this Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend go to The Anti-Counterfeiting Group website.