Black mar­ket warn­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - Spittal Primary Festive Fun -

NIKI TEN­NANT Win­ter sales shop­pers are be­ing en­cour­aged to steer clear of coun­ter­feit goods as signs in­di­cate a rise in the black mar­ket.

A sig­nif­i­cant pro­por­tion of coun­ter­feit prod­ucts be­ing in­ter­cepted are elec­tri­cal, such as hair straight­en­ers, phone charg­ers, video games, tablets and e-books, but also ex­tend to con­cert and event tick­ets.

Shop­pers are be­ing en­cour­aged to al­ways con­sider the four ‘Ps’ - place, price, pack­ag­ing or prod­uct - when buy­ing an item. If any of those Ps ap­pears un­usual, they should pro­ceed with cau­tion.

Gary Ritchie, head of re­tail and tourism re­silience at the Scot­tish Busi­ness Re­silience Cen­tre (SBRC) be­lieves con­sumers should be par­tic­u­larly wary at this time of year and re­alise that fake goods do not rep­re­sent a harm­less bar­gain.

“Some might judge this as a min­i­mal or even a vic­tim­less crime, but the trade of these fake goods is di­rectly feed­ing into wider crime, such as tax eva­sion and money laun­der­ing – and even fund­ing traf­fick­ing and ter­ror­ism,” said Gary.

“It’s easy to for­get that this is also an in­dus­try that tar­gets the poor­est and most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety – those most likely to be con­vinced by the lower price com­pared to the gen­uine ar­ti­cle.

“Con­sumers should be vig­i­lant to avoid be­ing tricked into a bar­gain – which could leave dam­age last­ing much longer than the fes­tive pe­riod.”

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