Black market warning
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.”