RCMP Warn of Counterfeit Products

Cpl. John Montgomery and Cst. Miles Hiebert show off counterfeit items at RCMP "D" Division headquarters on Portage Avenue Tuesday, December 7, 2010. (RCMP HANDOUT)

RCMP showed off a plethora of counterfeit goods Tuesday, including everything from designer apparel and DVDs, to toothpaste, perfume and light fixtures.

Over $63.3 million worth of goods were seized by RCMP between 2005 and 2008, which doesn’t include seizures performed by other law enforcement agencies in Canada.

The most common counterfeited products are chainsaws, hockey and bicycle helmets, automobile parts, circuit breakers, pharmaceuticals, shampoo, batteries, and jewelry.

The RCMP says there are some preventative measures consumers can take to avoid being cheated by purchasing fake goods:

  • If the price is too good to be true, it’s likely fake. Compare prices.
  • Be wary of shopping online, do your due diligence on the company you are dealing with. Ask questions on return policy.
  • If shopping online, be aware that the item(s) shown in a picture may be genuine, but what you see may not be what you receive.
  • You pay for what you get. High-end items, particularly in women fashion, should reflect the designer quality. Counterfeit items often have very poor craftsmanship.
  • Watch for packaging. Often times the packaging has been tampered with, products normally sold in packages are being sold individually.
  • If you note spelling mistakes on the product or packaging, it’s likely counterfeit.

Counterfeit products can lead to serious injuries, and even death, as the items aren’t properly tested to meet safety standards.

The penalty for dealing in counterfeit products includes fines up for $1 million and five years in prison.

Anyone with information on counterfeit products are asked to call their local RCMP Detachment or the RCMP Federal Enforcement Section at (204) 983-1189.