Buying and selling groups on social media are being monitored by Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service in the lead up to Christmas in a bid to stem the sale of fake goods online.

The attack happened in Bideford. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoThe attack happened in Bideford. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Trading Standards is contacting administrators of buying and selling groups to make them aware of their legal responsibilities when it comes to promoting the sale of counterfeit goods and illicit products.

Groups are encouraged to stamp out the sale of fake goods by joining Trading Standards’ Real Deal Online programme. Those who do will be entitled to display a logo marking the group ‘fake-free’.

Devon County Council’s cabinet member for economy and trading standards, said: “We are committed to ensuring that residents, legitimate businesses and the wider community are protected from the harm caused by the trade in fake and dangerous goods.

“It is vital that illicit traders, who believe they can make easy money by ripping off consumers with illegal, sub-standard and often dangerous counterfeits, are deterred at the earliest stage.

“Introducing this programme demonstrates that our trading standards officers are actively seeking out anyone advertising fake goods for sale locally on social media and will act against them. Social media no longer offers an easy hiding place for those attempting to trade illegally.”