Monday 3 December 2018 12:21 am

Consumers warned of Christmas cons as fake goods cases continue to rise

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Shoppers have been warned to be on the alert this Christmas as the number of court cases involving high value fake goods continues to rise.

There have been 39 cases involving counterfeit goods worth more than £116m in the last two years, according to new data from KPMG’s Fraud Barometer.

The research found that more than half the cases related to pirated films and music, while counterfeit tickets and fake branded goods were also common offenders.

In addition, cases of bootleg tobacco and alcohol totalled almost £150m over the same period.

James Maycock, partner at KPMG, said: “Counterfeit goods are a seductive way to an unhappy Christmas.

“Shoppers have to remember that even at Christmas if it feels too good to be true it usually is, and Boxing Day may be a painful experience when loved ones find their presents are not what they seem.”

The warning comes amid a rise in online fraud, as fraudsters take advantage of shoppers hunting for a bargain in the festive period.

Figures released last week by the City of London police’s fraud unit revealed that shoppers were conned out of more than £11m over the Christmas period last year.

Detective Chief Superintendent Pete O’Doherty of the City of London police said: “Our report shows that fraudsters will stop at nothing for financial gain during the festive period, which is why we are working hard together with our partners to highlight the threat and to prevent people from falling victim.

“To stop fraudsters in their tracks, be cautious of where and from whom you’re buying, especially if it is technology at a reduced price.”