Check out the latest Scam Alert!

Check out the latest Scam Alert!

by Danielle Thompson (May 2021)

AS we celebrate another release from the lockdown restrictions on our lives, I read that the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) has launched a campaign in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office and Facebook to take down online traders of counterfeit products. Operation CLOVER has been timed to coincide with the easing of  COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in the UK, as shoppers look to buy gifts for family and friends. We have been asked to make the following information available to everyone.

“Traders in counterfeit goods are using prestigious brand names to sell illicit and potentially dangerous products online,” said ACG Director General Phil Lewis.“Despite the easing of restrictions, COVID-19 continues to have a profound effect on the retail sector. With many shops still closed, shoppers have instead gone online to buy their gifts, and sellers have jumped in to meet that demand. “Disreputable sellers are trading from their homes and garages, selling fake items bearing well established global brand names, including potentially unsafe electrical goods, toys, cosmetics, perfume, clothing, trainers and handbags.”

The ACG is urging consumers to be vigilant and check that any product they buy online is from a reputable source. If they are suspicious about goods being potentially counterfeit, they should report them as quickly as possible.

Graham Mogg, Intelligence coordinator at the ACG said, “We’re targeting traders that are deceiving shoppers by selling counterfeit goods online. These fakes are likely to be poorly made, poorly finished and more likely to be unsafe. That’s why we’ve been working with Facebook to remove listings of potentially counterfeit goods. We want to help protect innocent individuals who are shopping online and simply looking for a bargain.”

A couple of weeks ago, ITV showed a very important programme about scams, “ Cheats, Fiddles and Scams”, in two episodes. These are a “must watch” for everyone, and if you missed them live, then I recommend that you watch on ITV HUB as soon as possible. Some of the stories about scam car sales etc. are an eye-opener for us all. The main messages were to be very, very careful when you go on to a website in the search of something very important and costly, because the scammers are now adding their pictures and offers of cars to websites of genuine car dealers. The scammers advertise their wares on social media platforms, and give a link to a car dealer site where the picture of the car they are selling has been posted, so that it seems a genuine offer.

Money Advice Mondays are back! Sefton Citizens Advice debt advice service drop-in face-to –face sessions are now, offering advice by video-call. The service will be available on Mondays from 10.00am-12pm. For information you should check out our “How We Can Help” page on our website www.seftoncab.org.uk.

.If you or someone you know is struggling to pay bills or outstanding debts, Citizens Advice may be able to help. Citizens Advice Sefton telephone service is available: Help To Claim advice line number for help claiming Universal credit is 0800 144 8444. 8am to 6pm. Mon to Fri. For general advice . 0808 278 7841 (freephone) Mon – Fri 9.30am – 4.30pm and text relay for people with hearing impairment: Text relay: 03444 111 445 for people with hearing impairment .The debt number is 0151 318 6407. 9.30 to 4.30 Mon to Fri. Our local website address is- www.https://seftoncab.org.uk/

Citizens Advice Lancashire West telephone is available between 9.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday, & 9.00am and 1.00pm Saturdays on Adviceline 0344 245 1294 and Help to Claim line 0800 144 8 444. Their website address is – www.citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk

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