Officials from the Home Office have warned Christmas shoppers looking for a bargain to be wary of counterfeit goods. Official sources said that fake UGG Boots, GHD hair straighteners, iPhones and iPads are among the tens of thousands of counterfeit items that have been seized by officers as they have been brought into the country in recent months.
Amidst a tight squeeze on household finances due to job losses, shoppers are hunting bargains online and ordering items that seem genuine, but evidence shows that 2011 is becoming the worst counterfeit Christmas with millions of pounds worth of goods seized.
The majority of the goods are coming from China, but the source destinations include India, Turkey, Indonesia and Thailand.
At the Coventry International Postal Hub, smaller parcels containing fake goods are intercepted on a daily basis. Grant Miller, UK Border Agency's Heathrow International Trade Division said: "Buyers can be left with products which are at best, inferior to genuine ones and, at worst, harmful or unsafe.
"We are uncovering all sorts of fake goods, from beauty products to children's toys, and we're warning people to be particularly wary of buying cheap items online or from unofficial traders." He added: "It's easy to be tricked into thinking you're getting a bargain, but in the run-up to Christmas our message is that if something appears too good to be true it probably is."