Glasgow & West Scotland

Warning to women over 'harmful' fake cosmetics

Mascara
Image caption Police said paint stripper and nail varnish remover had been found in fake mascara

Woman are being warned of a growing trade in fake cosmetics, tanning creams and slimming tablets which can prove harmful.

The Scottish Crime and Drugs Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) said counterfeit criminals are extending their range to alcohol and condoms.

Police will offer advice on spotting fakes at the Girls' Day Out exhibition at the SECC in Glasgow this weekend.

The SCDEA said if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.

The agency said false websites are being used by criminals to sell counterfeit goods. The sites also steal credit card details and obtain cash for goods that will never be delivered.

Methylated spirits

Det Ch Insp Ronnie Megaughin said: "Imagine how you would feel if you injected a tanning solution which turned your skin orange.

"And that's not to mention the health risks you are exposing yourself to by using a needle.

"Then there's counterfeit alcohol. It's bad enough having a hangover when you've had a few too many but imagine how you could feel if you've been drinking wine or vodka which contains household cleaning agents or even methylated spirits.

"If it doesn't kill you, you could be left blind or in a coma."

The best advice consumers can follow is to check out a brand's authorised and approved sellers and dealers, and always buy beauty products from a trusted source, the SCDEA said.

Det Ch Insp Megaughin said: "It's not uncommon to find paint stripper and nail varnish remover in mascara.

"We are urging consumers to think very carefully before buying fake beauty products or any other counterfeit goods."

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