Fake fancy dress: Police safety warning as thousands of counterfeits found at West Yorkshire eBay trader's home

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More than 3,000 counterfeit fancy dress costumes were seized by police and trading standards officers during a raid in West Yorkshire this week.

West Yorkshire Trading Standards teamed up with West Yorkshire Police and brand protection officers from Rubie’s Masquerade Company to execute a search warrant at an eBay trader’s home address yesterday.

They seized thousands of counterfeit children’s costumes, which are not subjected to the same rigorous testing as genuine items and can pose a public safety risk to consumers.

Read more: How to spot the real deal and avoid the dangers of counterfeit goods

City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) yesterday urged parents to only buy genuine fancy dress ahead of World Book Day.

Detective Inspector Nicholas Court, of PIPCU, said its latest campaign was warning the public that ‘there’s more at stake when it’s a fake’.

He said: “Fake fancy dress costumes could put children at risk of serious harm from flammable materials as they do not go through any rigorous testing.

“Buying from rogue sites can also put your personal and financial information at risk, meaning that criminals can use your identity for malicious means.”

Read more: Dangerous counterfeit toys are killing the market

Ros Lynch, director of copyright and enforcement at the Intellectual Property Office, said it echoed the advice from police.

“It’s great that so many children celebrate World Book Day by dressing up and bringing to life stories from authors all over the world,” she said.

“Although this is a fun time for children, it’s vital that parents check the source of where they are buying fancy dress costumes, not only to avoid serious harm coming to their children, but

to keep their personal information away from criminals.”

Read more: Police seize enough fake goods from Leeds traders to fill three transit vans

Anyone who has become the victim of fraud after buying counterfeit goods can call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.