Fake goods may seem a cheap alternative but many are harmful and could cause injury Image: Open Government Licence v3.0

Fake goods may seem a cheap alternative but many are harmful and could cause injury

It’s finally summertime; the days are longer, the mornings are brighter, and drinks are colder. Many of us will be buying new items to take us through the summer months. Such as sunglasses, new makeup, sun tan lotions, and even a new phone charger to take on holidays.

But how do you know you’re getting the real deal? Buying a bargain is always tempting, but if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Fake goods may seem a cheap alternative, but some could be harmful and may cause injury, sometimes severe.

For example, fake designer sunglasses may not contain UV protection. This could do more harm than wearing no sunglasses at all.

Counterfeit sun cream may offer low or no protection from the sun’s rays. Bargain electrical goods, such as phone chargers, may not be manufactured to high standards, and could overheat, catch fire or electrocute.

Some fake makeup can contain items you’d never want to put near your skin, such as mercury, or even rat droppings, and can cause nasty reactions.

Is it a bargain or is it potentially harmful?

Here’s a few tips from the Office for Product Safety and Standards to help you be safe when buying online:

  • Check the address on the product – If there is no address or just PO box number, it could mean that it is counterfeit
  • Compare the price – If the product is a fraction of the cost of trusted brands, it is likely to be fake
  • Examine the product – Is the label and logo correct? Genuine products have standardised logos, fonts and colours. Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors can also indicate fakes
  • Fake electrical goods may be missing parts or may not have safety certification on the label or the product
  • Check for product registration cards and the manual. Check model numbers on the manufacturer’s website. Fake goods often have model numbers not listed on genuine manufacturers websites

Remember, just because you can buy it, doesn’t mean it is safe.

Check out the Intellectual Property Office which has information on how to combat counterfeit goods.