People in Gedling borough are being urged to remain extra vigilant when buying poppy products in the run up to Remembrance Day following reports of fraudsters selling fake merchandise.
The Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and The Royal British Legion (RBL) are advising people to buy their poppies through official channels to avoid lining the pockets of fraudsters looking to cash in on the charity event.
The IPO and The RBL have teamed up with the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) to crack down on the rogue traders making money from the fake Remembrance goods in the area.
The warning applies to poppy merchandise – scarves, jewellery, poppy pins and larger poppy brooches. This does NOT apply to the traditional paper poppies.
The PIPCU team has been targeting suspected sellers by visiting addresses and speaking with people in connection with this crime.
In Autumn 2017, Border Force officers at Tilbury intercepted a shipment of poppy merchandise intended for the UK worth in the region of £150,000.
Claire Rowcliffe, director of fundraising, from The Royal British Legion said: “It is a sad fact that there are people who actively defraud the public in order to take funds intended for the support of our Armed Forces community.
“We would urge everyone wishing to purchase a Remembrance poppy brooch, to do so through official channels. For example, you can buy from one of our trusted volunteers, from The Royal British Legion’s online Poppy Shop, or from one of our corporate partners. We want to make sure that it goes to supporting those who have made such a unique contribution to our society.”
Fake poppies: what to look out for
People in Gedling borough are being asked to look out for counterfeit goods in the shape, or bearing the image of, the RBL’s familiar two-petal red poppy.
To help consumers beat the fraudsters, here are the top tips to avoid buying fake poppy merchandise online:
- be a ‘responsible buyer’ – buy from official channels and The Royal British Legion’s corporate partners
- avoid cheaper priced products. If the price is too good to be true, it usually is
- the Royal British Legion works with a number of corporate partners. Only corporate partners are authorised by the Royal British Legion to sell poppy merchandise
- if in doubt, buy through The Royal British Legion or The Royal British Legion official eBay or Amazon pages – you will be sure of the authenticity
If you think you’ve spotted fake poppy merchandise, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or report it online