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Counterfeit Phone Accessories Destroyed 13 December 2004

The Isle of Man Office of Fair Trading has destroyed a substantial number of counterfeit mobile phone accessories seized on the Island.

The accessories, mainly fascias with some mains chargers, were seized from a trader at a local market. The trader concerned has been co-operative and voluntarily surrendered the items for destruction. On investigation it was found that he had bought the accessories in innocence from retailers/wholesalers in the UK.

Counterfeit goods pose a threat to local businesses who cannot supply genuine goods at the same low prices as the counterfeit ones. If local traders cannot maintain their business shops close, people lose their jobs and the consumer has less choice locally.

Both traders and consumers buying goods such as these should look out for poor quality packaging or goods which are only packed in cellophane wrappers. Goods should have a backing card or leaflet with details of the manufacturer, importer and trade mark proprietor. Misspelling and insipid colours on the packaging or on the goods themselves are also a giveaway. Traders are advised to keep invoices and avoid back street suppliers

The Office has successfully removed from sale a range of counterfeit goods over the past few years. Consumers often believe that counterfeit goods are good value but they pose a range of problems. Difficult to detect from the real thing consumers only find out how shoddy or even dangerous they are when they get them home.

The new Chairman of the Office of Fair Trading, Mr Quintin Gill has long been concerned about the safety of counterfeit goods.

He said:

"Consumers should be very wary of goods sold at Car Boot Sales, markets and in pubs or clubs. If goods cost substantially less than the normal price then they may well be fake. 'Cheap' goods often means potentially dangerous quality."

As well as the risks consumers are running when buying these goods, counterfeiting is damaging legitimate business across the world. It is thought 100,000 jobs per year are lost in the EU as a result of counterfeiting. Some of those behind the counterfeit racket have been found to use the proceeds of counterfeiting for drug and gun running.

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