Trading Standards crackdown on fake online goods

Fake goods seized by Durham Trading Standards

With many shoppers seeking a post-Christmas bargain, a new scheme is trying to combat the growing trade in fake goods on social media buying-and-selling groups.

Durham Trading Standards is launching a new scheme to protect local consumers and small businesses from fraudulent goods being sold online.

The Real Deal Online programme makes sure social media buying-and-selling groups are not promoting the sale of counterfeit goods and other illicit products.

Officers have been contacting the administrators of group to make them aware of their legal responsibilities and encourage them to follow the Real Deal rules.

Administrators are asked to allow trading standards officers to join the group and agree to a code of practice, including:

  • To prohibit the sale of counterfeit and other illicit goods

  • To act on information from intellectual property (IP) rights owners and their representatives who highlight the sale of illegal goods

  • To notify trading standards if they believe that illegal goods are being sold within the group and to exclude the sellers of these goods

  • To highlight warnings and advice notices posted by trading standards

  • To make sure that all members of the group are aware of its fake-free policy

Groups that agree to follow the Real Deal Code of Practice will be allowed to display the Real Deal logo, indicating 'a fake-free shopping zone'.