Police Scotland have issued a timely warning in advance of the main shopping period of the year, to be aware if it ‘seems to good to be true, then it probably is’!
Shoppers are being urged to think about their security and safety while shopping online and out and about.
The reminder comes ahead of this year’s Cyber Monday (30/11), which will see thousands of shoppers taking to the internet and stores in search of bargains.
As well as being of poor quality, many counterfeit goods can lead to serious health problems. Imitation alcohol can cause blindness and even death; fake make-up can contain arsenic, rat droppings and rat poison, while counterfeit electrical products, such as straighteners, are not subject to UK testing and are highly dangerous.
The purchase of counterfeit goods supports serious and organised crime gangs, human trafficking and exploitation; it is not a victimless crime.
Chief Superintendent Paul Main, Safer Communities said: “Everyone is busy this time of year. All we are asking is that you to take a moment to think about the simple preventative measures you can take to discourage criminals and to stay safe. Our message is simple ‘This Christmas, Keep Safe’.”
For online shoppers shop with a reputable trader with a return policy, and check the web address has a padlock symbol. Advice for shoppers on the street is ensure your bag is closed and your purse or wallet is not easily accessible. Use well-lit ATMs and be aware of people around you and don’t leave goods on display in cars.