Warnings over poppy merchandise scams ahead of Remembrance 2018 

Examples of counterfeit merchandise seized in 2017. Credit: Intellectual Property Office
Examples of counterfeit merchandise seized in 2017. Credit: Intellectual Property Office
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THE ROYAL British Legion and the Intellectual Property Office are urging the public to be aware of fake poppy merchandise ahead of Remembrance 2018

The poppy donations are intended to support Armed Forces community men, women, veterans and their families but instead they could end up benefitting fraudsters if their poppy merchandise turns out to be fake.

Director of fundraising from The Royal British Legion Claire Rowcliffe said: ‘It is a sad fact that there are people who actively defraud the public in order to take funds intended for the support of our Armed Forces community.

‘We would urge everyone wishing to purchase a Remembrance poppy brooch, to do so through official channels. For example, you can buy from one of our trusted volunteers, from The Royal British Legion’s online Poppy Shop, or from one of our corporate partners.

‘We want to make sure that it goes to supporting those who have made such a unique contribution to our society.’

The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit have been cracking down on the rogue traders making money from the fake Remembrance goods.

In Autumn 2017, Border Force officers at Tilbury intercepted a shipment of poppy merchandise intended for the UK worth in the region of £150,000.

Intellectual Property Minister Sam Gyimah added: ‘It is truly shocking that anyone would target and exploit one of the UK’s most cherished charities and take advantage of public support for our Armed Forces community.’

The warning applies to poppy merchandise - scarves, jewellery, poppy pins and larger poppy brooches but does not apply to the traditional paper poppies

To help consumers beat the fraudsters, here are the top tips to avoid buying fake poppy merchandise online:

- Be a ‘responsible buyer’ – buy from official channels and The Royal British Legion’s corporate partners

- Avoid cheaper priced products. If the price is too good to be true, it usually is

- . Only corporate partners are authorised by the Royal British Legion to sell poppy merchandise

- If in doubt, buy through The Royal British Legion or The Royal British Legion official eBay or Amazon pages – you will be sure of the authenticity

Call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or report it online if you spot anyone selling what you believe to be fake poppy products.