West Lothian Council’s Trading Standards officers are advising consumers to be aware of the dangers of counterfeit goods.
There is no limit to the variety of products that criminals will attempt to copy or counterfeit, especially in the run up to the festive period.
Executive councillor for services for the community, George Paul, said: “Christmas is an expensive time of year and the last thing that anyone wants to do is to spend money on goods which are of a shoddy standard or which are dangerous.
“The council’s Trading Standards team is taking this opportunity to highlight what to look out for and how people can protect themselves from being duped.”
The people who manufacture or sell counterfeit goods are often also involved in organised crime.
Only buy alcohol or tobacco from a reputable trader and check for spelling mistakes, altered logos, low quality labels and poor packaging.
Foreign safety warnings, or no health warnings at all, are also indicators of counterfeit or illegal cigarettes.
The actual contents of illicit alcohol and tobacco products are the cheapest the counterfeiter can get and there are no quality control measures in the production process.
Remember, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is, so steer well clear to avoid a Christmas disaster.