Consumers in Northern Ireland have been told by the Trading Standards Service to be aware of retail frauds this Christmas. The organisation has claimed that retail frauds cost shoppers in Northern Ireland around £100 million per annum. Frauds include fake financing companies offering fast online loans and emails from fraudsters who claim to have suffered financial hardship and hence require funds. Other frauds include fraudulent software support firms phoning households to inform them that their computer has been infected by a virus that has the capability to steal bank details and fake websites offering counterfeit products.
Damien Doherty, who works for the Trading Standards Service, claimed that the organisation had received around 50 complaints since the beginning of November, all of which related to the purchase of fake goods online. He claimed that the majority of complaints related to counterfeit Ugg boots and GHD hair straighteners. Mr. Doherty stated that that current economic climate had led to an “opportunity for scams to thrive” and claimed that the Trading Standards Service was “inundated” with complaints on a daily basis. He added that scammers were getting away with their actions due to consumers being attracted to bargains. He claimed to have been aware of “hundreds” of consumers who had lost between £150 and £5000. He added that many consumers had lost money they could ill afford.
Duncan Lewis’ criminal law solicitors are able to represent clients facing charges relating to the selling of counterfeit goods. The team can attend police stations and courts of law across the UK.