At some point you may have been offered fake or counterfeit goods. If you’re trying to be careful with money it can be tempting if the price seems too good to be true. But in some instances the low cost of a fake product may cost you more in the long run.

Illegal Sky, Android or Kodi Box

A ‘dodgy box’ often refers to a set top box which has been modified in order to access pirated sport, TV or films. A common approach is to buy a box at an initial cost with access to content for a year. You’d then pay to have the box ‘recharged’ for another year – usually a lot cheaper than a monthly Sky subscription. There are two security risks involved which can cost you money.

If you’re buying a modified box, which connects to your wi-fi, you’re allowing a potentially unsafe device on to your home network. Once on your network, it could look to access private info from other devices and send this on to criminals.

The other risk is the sites that the box is connecting to.  If these streams are illegal, there could be a risk of exposing your network to viruses from the web. And if your personal or card details are stolen then you could be faced with being out of pocket.  It’s worth remembering that accessing illegal streams does involve you in ‘unlawful behaviour’ according to the UK Federation of Copyright Theft (Source: Telegraph).

Fake GHDs

They are probably the most popular hair straighteners in the UK. As a result, a number of dodgy retailers try to cash in by selling cheaper counterfeit versions. The dangers of using fake electrical products include electric shocks, fire or serious burns. This could cost pounds in household damage or days off work. Luckily for you, the GHD site has a 30 second way of checking if the product you’ve bought is genuine.

Fake Uggs

What harm can a fake pair of Uggs have? Retailing at upwards of £130 a pair, real Ugg boots are lined with genuine sheepskin, which help keep your feet warm but also allow them to breathe. The fake equivalent won’t be made from sheepskin and won’t allow your skin to breathe. This results in even more bacteria living between your toes –which you may need a prescription or medicine for to clear up.

Images on how to spot a fake are on the Ugg website.

Cigarettes and Alcohol

Smoking and drinking genuine products could be considered bad enough for your health. But consuming cheaper fake versions could be even worse as they may contain additional ingredients which can cause health problems.

If you don’t want to spend time in hospital, then we recommended that you only buy from reputable suppliers. If the price of a product seems too good to be true then it probably is.

When buying cigarettes in the UK a real pack is likely to have the following:

  • Health warnings in English
  • Picture warnings
  • No unusual taste or smell
  • Good print quality on packs and cigarettes
  • Not cost less than £3.50 for a pack of 20.

Source, Stop Illegal Tobacco

For more info on how to spot fake cigarettes visit the Illegal Tobacco site.

Where can I buy fake goods?

You can find fake goods being sold on open markets, social media, through friends and online. Even if a website looks professional with security verification (i.e. when the padlock appears in the address bar of the browser) it doesn’t mean that the goods will be genuine.

Only buy from reputable suppliers you trust and check reviews if you’re unsure. And if you are buying from somewhere like Amazon or eBay you can always get in touch with them directly if you think you’ve been sold fake goods from a supplier. Paying by credit card may also give you added protection should anything go wrong.