Shoppers in west Kent are being warned about suspected fake goods being sold by rogue traders.
Kent Police and KCC Trading Standards have responded to reports that fraudsters are targeting markets, boot fairs and town centre locations to sell counterfeit items at lower than retail prices.
On Wednesday 15 December 2021, officers from the Sevenoaks Community Safety Unit accompanied council inspectors to examine several stalls at Swanley market.
Poor quality and unsafe
Items seized included suspected counterfeit clothing and handbags, most with designer labels, and a number of watches.
Inspector Matt Atkinson said: ‘If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re getting a great deal, you may be buying stolen or counterfeit goods.‘Buyers will often find that their purchase turns out to be poor quality and this may make the product unusable or even unsafe.’
Clampdown with Trading Standards
Clive Phillips, Operations Manager for KCC Trading Standards added: ‘Selling counterfeit products is illegal and will not be tolerated.‘As well as undermining local legitimate businesses, fake goods can also ruin Christmases because they are of inferior quality and fail to conform with safety standards.‘Money made from the sale of counterfeit products also very often helps to fund serious organised crime.‘For all these reasons we will continue to work in partnership with Kent Police to crack down on this illegal trade and urge people to report anyone selling counterfeit goods in their community.’
Report anything suspicious
If you think you have been sold counterfeit goods, or if you suspect somebody is selling fake goods, get advice from the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.
Alternatively report it to Action Fraud online or call 0300 123 2040.
If you suspect you have been offered stolen property call Kent Police on 101.