The 12 Days of Counterfeit Christmas

Here are the top 12 scams consumers should look out for when shopping online in the words of the world-famous festive song, The Twelve Days of Christmas.

On the First day of Christmas my true love sent to me a Partridge in a Pear Tree – Counterfeit Christmas decorations. 

On the Second day of Christmas my true love sent to me Two Turtle Doves – Turtle or Tortoise shell products are banned in many countries, including the US. 

On the Third day of Christmas my true love sent to me Three French Hens – The French have a reputation for producing luxurious goods. Watch out for fake websites claiming to be selling the real thing.

On the Fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Four Calling Birds – In early November Essex Police in the UK seized over £100,000 worth of fake mobile phones and accessories following a tip-off. 

On the Fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Five Gold Rings - Fake jewellery is huge business, with an estimated $187m seized in the US alone in 2012.

On the Sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Six Geese-a-Laying –some of the more surprising items to be counterfeited are items such as eggs. 

On the Seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me Seven Swans-a-Swimming – Be careful about buying “exotic” meat from unusual sources.

On the Eighth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Eight Maids-a-Milking – fake cheese is becoming a growing problem for food standards authorities. 

On the Ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Nine Ladies Dancing – Fake clothes, often passed off as branded items are estimated to cost the manufacturers over £12bn per annum. 

On the Tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Ten Lords-a-Leaping – want to buy a sports fan tickets to the Ashes test at the home of cricket, Lords?  Fake tickets are a growing problem, so only buy from official sources.  

On the Eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me Eleven Pipers Piping - Recent studies estimate that 11% of global cigarette sales are for fake products.

On the Twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me Twelve Drummers Drumming –Downloading music from unauthorised sources is digital piracy and the penalties can be severe.

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