Don’t waste your cash on fake electronics

If you like saving money (and who doesn’t?) then seeing an item that usually retails at a fair sum – such as a laptop, TV or smartphone – at a knockdown price can be too tempting to resist. Unfortunately though, there are people out there who are more than happy to trick bargain hunters by selling them fake goods or, in some cases, a box full of junk. Avoid falling foul of the scam artists by keeping the following things in mind:

Think about where it’s being bought

If you drive regularly then chances are at some point you’ll have encountered someone looking to shift their produce in a car park or another bizarre location. The stories they tell to explain their location may vary, but the quality of the goods they are peddling is almost always poor. The internet is home to some counterfeit electronic goods too, so always do your best to verify a website’s credentials before you pay and when you do consider using a credit card. Your plastic will offer you a little extra protection in the event of your purchase being faulty, or not turning up. It’s important to keep in mind where you’re buying from too, as chances are you won’t be able to return it if it’s faulty.

Make sure it works

It’s a reasonable expectation to expect to see something working before parting with your cash, particularly if you’re buying from a slightly unusual location. So make you see that it functions as it should do before walking away. Remember too, that counterfeit goods can be dangerous, so think about whether it’s worth the risk.

Look at the quality

If an item is fake then chances are the quality of the product – and it’s packaging – will be inferior to the real thing in some way. After all, the people manufacturing and selling items like this are doing it for the maximum returns they can achieve, rather than to save you money!  Tell tales signs can include a poor quality finish to the packaging, which might mean details such as dates make little sense or the spelling is spelling and grammar isn’t at the standard you’d expect. It’s also worth looking out for a hologram, as if it’s missing then you could be looking at a fake.

Sometimes con artists can be very persuasive, so there’s no reason to feel embarrassed if you’ve been scammed in the past, but remember if a deal seems too good to be true then it probably is!

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