Shoppers are being reminded to be extra vigilant when out buying Christmas gifts, following a recent haul of £200,000 worth of fake goods by Ealing Council trading standards officers.
Officers seized more than 3,000 phoney designer carpets and rugs that were being sold off as high-end brands such as Chanel, Versace and Louis Vuitton.
The council is calling on consumers to pay caution when parting with their hard-earned cash, and to avoid getting ripped off by rogue traders selling counterfeit goods to vulnerable customers looking for a bargain.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, the council’s cabinet member for decent living incomes said: “As Christmas approaches and the cost-of-living crunches, I know people will be looking to bag a bargain, but if you see something looks too good to be true… it almost certainly is.
“It’s a perfect time to go out and spend your money locally with responsible businesses and please do shop local where you can. But let me send a clear message to those who want to exploit local residents with fake goods: your angry customers will shop you in, then we will find you and the courts could fine you. Huge thanks to our fantastic trading standards team for their action in this recent high-profile case.”
Mohammed Tariq, senior trading standards officer at the council, added: “Money raised from selling counterfeit goods is often used to fund criminal activities and linked to organised crime such as modern-day slavery, drugs and child labour.
“Traders selling counterfeit goods undermine genuine trade and businesses and do no good to the UK economy. We will continue to work tirelessly to protect the public from being scammed by rogue traders and will not hesitate in prosecuting anyone selling illegal items as part of our commitment to making a Ealing safer place.”
To report a business you may have concerns about email firstname.lastname@example.org
Supporting local businesses and residents
One of the council’s priorities is to help the borough to recover from the economic fall out of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the cost of living crisis that the nation is facing. There is lots of help and advice online for businesses and residents.
Small Business Saturday returns on 3 December and there is a host of activities taking place across the borough on the day to help residents shop local and bag a bargain from reputable traders.
If online shopping is more your thing, be aware of scammers and fraudsters on the web. Stay safe when shopping online.