Potentially Lethal Chemicals Found in Counterfeit Products
A recent raid by UK police has given rise to great concern as 500 bottles of fake perfumes were found to contain cyanide, a potentially lethal chemical compound. The discovery adds more fuel to the anti-counterfeiting debate, an important issue for the UK as consumers spend over €100 million each year on fake goods.
Besides perfume, the City of London police also warn against counterfeit makeup, which can often contain dangerous chemicals that cause skin irritation, swelling, and burns. Some fake makeup products have even been found to contain dangerous levels of arsenic, lead, and mercury. These types of counterfeit goods have been known to be maufactured under poor health and hygiene conditions, with rat urine and rat poison having been detected in products.
According to anti-counterfeiting experts, the rise in online shopping has lead to an upswing in sales of fake goods. Ros Lynch, Copyright and IP Enforcement Director at the UKIPO, states that there are things consumers can do to detect fake goods online and thereby protect themselves from harmful products. Spelling mistakes, poor grammar, and the use of many different font styles on a website are telltale signs that something is not right.
If shoppers still knowingly insist on purchasing fake goods online, they are advised to consider the added risk of submitting personal details to dodgy websites. If a site appears to be engaging in the illegal activity of selling counterfeit goods, then giving them your personal information should definitely set off warning bells.
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