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Christmas Fraud Warning

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8:04am 14th December 2014

Cornwall gets a warning over buying fake electronics this Christmas.

Trading Standards in the Duchy says we need to be on the lookout for counterfeits of things like hair straighteners and phone chargers.

Experts say some are not only fake - but dangerous.

Duchy Officer Sharon Foster told Pirate FM: "There is a lot of counterfeit stuff in markets and online as well. A lot of those have been found to be unsafe. The worry is that they could catch fire and cause a catastrophe of course.

"People can pay nearly the real price and not realise they are getting a counterfeit. If you use your credit card and it's an item over £30 you will be protected, because if it says it's a genuine product and it arrives and it's a counterfeit your credit card company will be jointly liable to refund the money."

If you think you have been sold counterfeit goods, or if you suspect somebody is selling fake goods, call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06. Your local Trading Standards office can also give you advice.

If you purchased an item you believed to be genuine but now believe it may be counterfeit you can report it to Action Fraud.

Your statutory rights apply if the goods you buy aren't satisfactory quality or are different from the seller's description. So, if you buy goods that are not as described, you might be entitled to a refund or an exchange of goods.

Protect yourself against counterfeit goods fraud:

* If something seems too good to be true, e.g. a Rolex watch being sold for £10, it probably is. Don't be fooled into thinking you're getting a great deal.

*Always examine the quality of any goods you're thinking of buying and check the labels to see if they are genuine. It's often very easy to spot a fake as their labels may have spelling mistakes or other distinguishing marks.

*Always ask the trader you're buying from whether they offer an after-sales service, or a guarantee. Most rogue traders won't.

If fraud has been committed, report it to Action Fraud.

8:04am 14th December 2014

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