RCMP Offer Tips on Spotting Counterfeit Goods

RCMP display counterfeit items at its Winnipeg headquarters during a news conference on Tuesday, December 6, 2011. (RCMP HANDOUT)

Manitoba RCMP showed off a slew of knock off items seized from investigations during its second annual counterfeit goods open house on Tuesday.

Fake jewelry, pharmaceuticals, Winnipeg Jets hockey jerseys and designer clothing were all on display.

Police say it’s important to be educated on spotting counterfeit items, such as if the price is too good to be true, or if the item comes in a plastic bag instead of its original packaging. Officers can usually tell if an item is fake on the spot, but often send the more sophisticated counterfeits to the manufacturer to be verified. Many times, the spelling on the product’s tag or instruction manual is also misspelled.

“One of the problems that many consumers don’t think about is the safety aspect,” said Cpl. John Montgomery of the RCMP’s Federal Enforcement Section. “There is no guarantee that counterfeit goods have gone through any kind of inspection or meet any quality standards, and there is no guarantee that they do not contain dangerous materials”

RCMP in the province have seized more than $56.6 million worth of goods in the last three years, including Viagra knockoffs and Gucci purses.

Police say counterfeit items can also pose health and safety risks because proper manufacturing standards are often not followed.

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