Bury trading standards officers have seized £250,000 of counterfeit ‘Beats by Dr Dre’ headphones.
They raided an address in Radcliffe following a tip-off and found more than 1,000 copies of these premium headphones, legitimate versions of which can sell for more than £300 each.
Councillor Tony Isherwood, cabinet member for environment, said: “When times are hard, the search for bargain Christmas presents intensifies. It is very tempting when the latest electrical goods or fashion items can be found in stores or online at prices that seem too good to resist. However, these apparent bargains may not be all they appear and may not just be a rip-off but could also be harmful.”
Among potentially dangerous items are:
- Fake spirits containing extremely high levels of methanol
- Fake hair straighteners that can injure the user or destroy their home
- Fake cigarettes that contain sawdust, plastic and animal faeces
- Fake power tools, which can kill
- Fake chargers for phones and games systems that can explode or fatally electrocute the user
Bury’s trading standards team works all year round visiting car boot sales, shops and online retailers, dealing with counterfeit sellers.
Officers have noticed that counterfeiters are increasingly selling goods on social media sites, and urge residents to be cautious when buying from these “buy, sell and swap” forums. There is no protection for the buyer; indeed the seller may not even be using their real name or address.
Lorraine Chamberlin, head of environmental protection, added: “We urge consumers to boycott counterfeits – it’s the only way to foil the global network of criminals which controls this hugely profitable trade in fakes.
“If you suspect that items being sold locally are fakes, you can tip off trading standards on 08454 040506. Alternatively, if you want to remain anonymous, you can call Crimestoppers for free on 0800 555 111.”
Press release issued: 5 December 2013.