UK Authorities Warn Of Fake Olympics Goods

By Cornelius Nunev

With the 2012 London Olympics in full-swing, experts in the United Kingdom are warning tourists to stay away from getting counterfeit merchandise. There have been hundreds of arrests already for crooks attempting to import or sell the knock-off goods. While counterfeit sporting mementos are nothing brand new, the Olympics are sure to cause a spike in such activity this summer.

Counterfeiting is stealing

The sale of counterfeit merchandise is just as bad as bootlegging movies and music. It is still considered theft because it is taking advantage of somebody to take their cash.

In Kansas, City, Gilbert Trill is in charge of Homeland Security Investigations as a special agent. He just stopped a huge merchandise ring in KS City for Major League Baseball. Trill said:

"Selling counterfeit goods is stealing. Counterfeit goods steal U.S. jobs, create inferior and sometimes dangerous products, and support criminal organizations."

Olympics a great opportunity

And the same holds true in England. On June 8, ABC reported the Port of London seizure of thousands of pounds of phony merchandise by British specialists. Involved in the seizure were 7,000 fake Olympic tote bags, 500 cigarette lighters and 400 vests.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Bill Bilan, chairman of the Trading Standards Institute's Olympic strategy group, told ABC News:

"We're really busy and getting busier."

Usually includes kid labor

The quality of counterfeit merchandise is not as good generally, and the items do not always cost less too. Interpol explained that the funds usually go to terrorist or criminal activities. Also, child labor is usually used in order to produce the items. It is almost never worth it to purchase the counterfeit stuff.

Noticing the fakes

There is only one place to buy legitimate Olympic mementos outside of Olympic Park. It is on Rotten Row in London's Hyde Park as a temporary structure. All legitimate mementos will even have a holographic tag that rotates on it. Even though it is hard to tell the fake stuff from the real now with all the technology out there, these are some guidelines to follow.

Daily finance points out that you should watch for misspelled names, poor stitching, uneven colors and any other thing that might indicate the product is bogus. Do not buy merchandise unless it is from a trusted vendor such as the ones mentioned above. The finance site points out that you might end up losing the merchandise in customers on the way home anyway, so it is certainly not worth it.

Do not ever purchase something that is too good of a deal. It probably is a scam.

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