ONLINE shoppers have been warned to keep an eye out for fake products ahead of Black Friday.
Instagram has pulled hundreds of suspected counterfeit products from the site as part of a joint crackdown with Trading Standards.
Phone accessories, potentially dangerous chargers, knock off clothes, jewellery, tobacco, car parts and copyrighted photographs were among the banned haul.
It comes as a poll found more than a quarter of UK shoppers are considering or intending to buy fake products this year.
Electrical devices such as smartphones, tablets or laptops and accessories such as chargers and earphones are among those most likely to be bought by consumers seeking fake items this year, the survey suggests.
But Trading Standards warned they could be poor quality and “incredibly dangerous”.
Read More on The Sun
“Removing counterfeit goods from Instagram means families will be safer this Christmas,” said Mike Andrews, national co-ordinator at the National Trading Standards eCrime team.
“Buying fakes can seem like a harmless way to get what you want for less, but counterfeiting is not a victimless crime.
“Aside from being poor quality, fake electrical goods can be a fire hazard, while copycat toys can be deadly to children as criminals don’t care about safety standards.”
Previous research by the charity Electrical Safety First found that 98 per cent of fake Apple chargers failed safety tests.
Most read in Tech
Owner of full-size Lancaster cockpit replica hopes it won’t bomb at auction
WhatsApp upgrade reveals secret features you've never used before
People are just realising you can read deleted texts on an iPhone
Xbox Series S drops to £189 in at THREE stores this Black Friday – where to buy
You're using your electric heater wrong – 9 mistakes as millions try to stay warm
People are just realising simple Sky TV mistake that everybody makes
Just this week an unofficial charger sold on Amazon was recalled after it caused a fire.
How to avoid falling for counterfeit products
Experts advise you to vet the seller – find out whether they are official and have a return policy.
Look around for reviews on them – not recommendations from influencers.
Always beware of retailers asking for payment to be made via bank transfer.
Well known credit card providers like Visa or Mastercard, and services like PayPal offer protection to buyers if the goods don’t arrive or are proven to be counterfeit.
Look out for tell-tale signs like spelling mistakes in the description – and even on the product itself.
Read more about Instagram
Your hidden Instagram history reveals every login, bio & search
Mark Zuckerberg to lay off 11,000 Facebook and Instagram employees
See if the item has any EU and UK safety markings.
And think twice if the price is a lot cheaper than everywhere else, as it’s probably too good to be true.
Best Phone and Gadget tips and hacks
Looking for tips and hacks for your phone? Want to find those secret features within social media apps? We have you covered…
- How to delete your Instagram account
- What does pending mean on Snapchat?
- How to check if you’ve been blocked on WhatsApp
- How to drop a pin on Google Maps
- How can I change my Facebook password?
- How to go live on TikTok
- How to clear the cache on an iPhone
- What is NFT art?
- What is OnlyFans?
- What does Meta mean?
Get all the latest WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and other tech gadget stories here.
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org