The UK Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) has uploaded a series of videos urging consumers to be on the lookout for counterfeit goods ahead of Christmas.
The 12 Fake Days of Christmas videos, part of the UKIPO’s ‘Buy Real’ campaign, encourage consumers to be cautious of the warning signs that products might be counterfeit.
It says that consumers “on the lookout for the very best deal” are often easily caught out – and may inadvertently purchase counterfeit items by mistake.
According to the UKIPO, more than two million ‘suspected infringing’ items were detained at the UK external border in the 2016/17 financial year alone.
One particular operation involved more than 80,000 counterfeit items worth more than £3 million in potential fraudulent sales.
Ahead of the festive season, the UKIPO is trying to raise awareness of the problem.
“Fraudsters sell fake goods using the intellectual property of legitimate businesses, to make a profit. They don’t care about meeting safety standards and they certainly don’t care about ruining your Christmas,” it says.
“It’s always important to remember the risks of buying fake goods. Especially as counterfeit items can bring more than disappointment,” it adds.
Ultimately it is important to remember that intellectual property infringement is not a victimless crime – it can, and has the ability to, threaten legitimate businesses, employees and significantly undermine consumer confidence.
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