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The counterfeiting of goods can have a wide range of serious consequences, both for you personally and for society in general. Here you can read about the kind of goods that are most often counterfeited and the possible consequences of buying such items and pirated goods in general.

Up until fairly recently, counterfeiting of goods was confined to luxury items and "name brand" bags, handbags, watches and clothing items. Today, counterfeiting covers everything from batteries, cosmetics and medicines to games, foodstuffs and spare parts for cars.

Is it really that dangerous?

The risk is no longer just a case of ending up with a "dodgy" jacket or watch. The sheer volume of pirated goods now available represents a risk to consumer health and safety. The pirating industry has grown enormously and has become highly professional - pirate and counterfeiting operations are very often linked to crime syndicates involved in the drugs trade, money laundering and people trafficking.

Thus, buying fake "Gucci" sunglasses in a square in Rome is nowhere near as innocuous as you think.

Read more about the kind of goods that are most often subject to brand counterfeiting, and the ways pirating can affect you, your family and society as a whole.

Get tips and advice on how you as a consumer can avoid counterfeit goods and the risks they pose.

Last update: 6. April 2016