Bargain hunters in Lichfield and Burntwood are being urged to be wary of counterfeit goods as they pick up last minute Christmas gifts.

Staffordshire County Council said social media sites and local markets are places where people should be alert.

Counterfeit goods seized by trading standards in Staffordshire

Fake clothing, toys, toiletries and alcohol have all been seized by trading standards in recent years.

Cllr Victoria Wilson, cabinet member for communities at Staffordshire County Council, said:

“The run up to Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for shopping, but unfortunately it’s also a busy time for counterfeiters.

“This is just a gentle reminder from our trading standards team to be on your guard for counterfeit items.

“Fake goods are big business these days and are increasingly hard to detect just to look at, so when something is being sold at a knock-down price, people should be extremely wary.

“We always say that if something looks too good to be true, it usually is.”

Cllr Victoria Wilson, Staffordshire County Council

Trading standards say low prices, lack of – or low quality – packaging and where the item is being sold can often be indicators that an item may be a fake.

They added that residents should also carry out checks on websites before purchasing.

People can report counterfeit goods on sale by calling the county council’s hotline on 01785 330356.