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Don’t buy fake goods this Christmas

Trading Standards officers at North East Lincolnshire Council will be destroying a number of counterfeit goods ahead of the Christmas season.

Evidence that has been gathered will be taken to the Energy from Waste Plant at Stallingborough to be disposed of.

It comes as Christmas approaches and Trading Standards warn people to watch out for cheap, fake goods.

Items including handbags, boots, cigarettes and tobacco will be destroyed on Wednesday 19 December.

Goods are usually seized on an intelligence-led basis, either from someone making a complaint about something they have seen on social media or from brand protection themselves.

The process of seizing is an in-depth process which requires photographic evidence and a written record of everything found.

Items are seized and taken away with Trading Standards officers to be used in evidence.

Several lines of action can be taken once a prosecution file is complete, including ‘no further action’ or a ‘formal caution’, right through to a full prosecution in court.

Councillor David Bolton, portfolio holder for safer and stronger communities, said: “As we approach the Christmas period, it’s easy to have your head turned by what appears to be a bargain, but people must avoid buying fake goods at all costs.

“A recent trend has seen people buying products cheaply on social media sites.

“By purchasing fake goods, people are giving money to criminals, stealing from the original rights holders, and potentially putting the lives of loved ones at risk.

“To check if an item is genuine, you can look at the packaging. Legitimate goods will usually be protectively marked and feature the safety mark. Always ask for a receipt, and check that the seller accepts returns within a certain timeframe.

“Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.”

If you suspect the authenticity of branded items being sold, you can report it to Trading Standards through Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506. Or visit www.brand-i.org to check the authenticity of the retailer and report unauthorised sellers.

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