Don’t get ‘done’ on Christmas gifts

This convincing but fake Barbour jacket is typical of a big brand name being ripped off for criminal profit.
This convincing but fake Barbour jacket is typical of a big brand name being ripped off for criminal profit.

The booming market in criminal bootleg merchandise was set to be flagged up by former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill in Falkirk today.

Together with police and the Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Group his Howgate shopping centre display aimed to show just how convincing some of the fakes can be.

Across the UK it’s estimated nearly £16million was lost to Christmas shopping fraud last year - from fake Yeezy trainers to bogus Kylie Jenner make-up. hair dryers, drones and Fitbit watches, all sorts of dodgy goods were passed off as the real McCoy.

The unsettling news is that figures show Christmas fraud rose 25 per cent between 2015 and 2016 - and the trend may still be upwards.

Nearly two thirds of gift fraud crimes were linked to online auctions.

Mr MacAskill is the new chairman of the Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Group, formed by the Scottish Business Resilience Centre three years ago.

Continuing his long-running crusade against fake goods his aim this week was to take the message on festive fraud straight to Falkirk’s shoppers.

The Scottish Anti Illicit Trade Group brings together partners from both public and private sectors in its efforts to take combined action against offenders - and create shopping environments free of counterfeits.