Examples of counterfeit merchandise seized in 2017. Credit: Intellectual Property Office

Consumers warned ahead of Remembrance 2018

The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and The Royal British Legion (RBL) are urging people to be extra vigilant when buying poppy merchandise for Remembrance this year.

Donations intended to support Armed Forces community men, women, veterans and their families could end up benefitting fraudsters.

Claire Rowcliffe, director of fundraising, from The Royal British Legion said:

“It is a sad fact that there are people who actively defraud the public in order to take funds intended for the support of our Armed Forces community.

“We would urge everyone wishing to purchase a Remembrance poppy brooch, to do so through official channels.”

Warning does not apply to paper poppies

The warning applies to poppy merchandise such as scarves, jewellery, poppy pins and larger poppy brooches. This does NOT apply to the traditional paper poppies.

In Autumn 2017, Border Force officers at Tilbury intercepted a shipment of poppy merchandise intended for the UK worth in the region of £150,000.

Fake poppy merchandise – what to look for

The public are being asked to look out for counterfeit goods in the shape, or bearing the image of, the RBL’s familiar two-petal red poppy, or Poppy Scotland’s four-petal poppy.

The RBL have registered their rights for the poppy goods to prevent such counterfeiting.

Here are the top tips to avoid buying fake poppy merchandise online:

  • Be a ‘responsible buyer’ – buy from official channels and The Royal British Legion’s corporate partners
  • Avoid cheaper priced products. If the price is too good to be true, it usually is
  • The Royal British Legion works with a number of corporate partners. Only corporate partners are authorised by the Royal British Legion to sell poppy merchandise
  • If in doubt, buy through The Royal British Legion or The RoyalBritish Legion official eBay or Amazon pages – you will be sure of the authenticity

What to do if you think you’ve spotted fake poppy merchandise

Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or report it online if you spot anyone selling what you believe to be fake poppy products.