29th November 2015

So what’s the harm?


Don’t take the risk – get real

“They charge too much for the real thing” or:

“There’s no harm in selling fakes.”

London Trading Standards are used to hearing these things said – but it is just not that simple. Counterfeiting has many hidden effects on all of us that are harmful:

  • Have you ever wondered where the money spend on them goes?
  • Do you think fakes are good quality and made to last?
  • How do you know fakes are safe to use?
  • Do you care about honest hardworking businesses?

Dealing in fakes is a serious criminal offence – punishable by fines and imprisonment. London Trading Standards have a legal duty to enforce the law and every year we seize large quantities of inferior, illegally copied and often unsafe goods that were on sale to the public.

Those that deal in fake goods do not contribute to the local economy and are often involved in other fraud. Income tax and VAT go unpaid, as their trade is not declared, and in many cases housing benefit and council tax fraud is uncovered in investigations. In summary, traders in fakes lead criminal lifestyles – they are not cuddly Del Boy types.

But I love a bargain!

Fake goods are no bargain buy. They are inevitably of much poorer quality than the real thing, they will not last as long or work as well and there is not going to be any recourse for you if the item is faulty or unsafe.

In the worst case scenarios fake goods have the potential to kill. For example, where fake toys or electrical products are concerned. The bogus manufacturers will not bother to ensure they meet strict safety regulations.

Van of counterfeit goods

Counterfeit bag