Ho ho ho and a bottle of fake rum

As I have complained before, counterfeiting is often underestimated as a crime.  It’s one of those peculiar “other people” crimes, as in “Other people really shouldn’t buy fake goods, but if I see a fake Chanel handbag while I’m on holiday, it’s just a bit of fun”.  Thin end of the wedge stuff – we can’t really have people making individual judgements about some crimes being acceptable.  And anyway, far from being a benign crime that simply (pah! that’s my own individual judgement sneaking in there) deprives the luxury goods companies of some revenue, those in law enforcement know only too well that the manufacture and sale of counterfeit goods is used by criminal and terrorist organisations to fund other activity, mainly because counterfeiting is a “low detection, low penalty” crime and therefore well worth a punt.  (And that’s before you take into account the miserable conditions of those who are making these items, in factories entirely untroubled by good working practices or safety concerns.)

Christmas, I am afraid, is a bumper season for counterfeiters, as criminal gangs flood the market with their fakes.  Counterfeit toys, computer consoles and games, handbags, shoes and beauty products are big business, and recession-hit shoppers will be tempted by the (seeming) bargains.  But factor in the short life of fakes, as well as the cost of putting right any damage they cause (those visits to the emergency room when a child is electrocuted or cut or swallows a rogue piece of toy, or when your skin flares up in reaction to an untested perfume, or when your entire family is poisoned by fake booze), and it starts to look like less of a good deal.  And it’s definitely not such a merry Christmas or a happy new year for the legitimate shops and factories who go out of business when they are undercut by criminals selling fakes.  So please, everyone, have a genuine festive season.

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7 Responses to Ho ho ho and a bottle of fake rum

  1. Its worth remembering that there are a lot of fake goods on the online auction websites. The importation of counterfeit goods is illegal and they are likely to be confiscated. Christmas can become expensive without a lot to show for, so please be careful.

    • You’re so right, Lance – eBay and the other online auction sites do their best to remove listings of fakes, but it’s hard for them to keep up. People just need to keep in mind the familiar-but-often-forgotten truism: if it looks too good [or cheap] to be true, it probably is.
      Best wishes from Susan

  2. Roy McCarthy says:

    Hear hear Susan! Few buyers will think of the ethics of the matter when buying a fake Rolex

    • I know: I’m not quite sure why people apply different standards to counterfeiting than to other crimes, but they do. Someone who would never entertain the idea of stealing a watch is quite happy to buy a fake one.
      Best wishes from Susan

  3. Claire says:

    I agree with you, Susan. I used to buy designer goods. They are mostly worth the money. But now I live on a budget and I would not dream of buying fakes. It’s a sad materialistic world where people buy lookalikes just to show off, to belong somewhere (where???). At the same time, some of these people will be complaining that so many people are on the dole, whilst they are supporting an illegal economy. If you want to live in a good economy, buy ecological, buy even local as much as you can. Don’t support slavery & illegal activities. And stop that materialistic competition with your neighbour to show of who has more/ better!

  4. Dear Claire
    You are so right – but then we both know first-hand the lengths that people will go to get money, keep it, and spend it in ways to make others jealous!
    Best wishes (and merry Christmas) from Susan

  5. Pingback: If you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made | I hate money laundering

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