Counterfeit goods containing rat droppings in the health and beauty market have created a scare amongst users of make-up, perfume, sun cream and other products. City of London Police have identified the problem as part of their “Wake Up Don’t Fake Up” campaign. The police campaign aims to bring more awareness of the dangers of counterfeit goods which costs the UK about £90 million per year. The problems are multiplied in the online markets, where buyers looking for bargains cannot see or smell the products before ordering and paying for them.
Clive Bonny, a Responsible Business Advisor, says “Product sourcing and confirming authenticity becomes very difficult online. People are so focused on price; they sometimes forget to check quality. Low price and top quality do not always go hand in hand. Generic images of products are often used to deceive buyers and these products are not tested to the same standards of the real goods.”
Staff at Safeguard Pest Control are already aware of the issue and offered some solutions for unwary buyers. Pennie Gadd and colleague Rosie agreed “When buying these products online; if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.” Police are also reporting that victims buying fake goods online later found that their payment details had been duplicated to make further illegal purchases.