The Government has warned of rogue traders selling fake poppy merchandise, which won’t benefit charities.
The Intellectual Property Office has teamed up with the Royal British Legion to urge consumers to ‘buy responsibly’ ahead of Remembrance Day on 11th November.
Genuine poppy merchandise, featuring the two or four-petal official poppy design, can be bought through the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Shop website, its eBay or Amazon pages, or one of its official corporate partners.
The profits support members of the Armed Forces, veterans and their families – whereas money spent on fake poppy products will only benefit the scammers.
How can I spot fake poppy merchandise?
The Government is asking the public to watch out for goods which use the image of the two-petal red poppy, which is the symbol of the Royal British Legion, or the four-petal poppy used by PoppyScotland.
The warning applies to poppy merchandise such as brooches, pins and scarves – but not to traditional paper poppies.
The Royal British Legion has registered its rights over poppy goods and asks consumers to report counterfeit poppy products to Crimestoppers, either online or by calling 0800 555 111.
What does the Royal British Legion say?
Claire Rowcliffe, Director of Fundraising, from The Royal British Legion 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.
“Join with us, the Government and the Police to help make sure your donation doesn’t line the pockets of criminals. We want to make sure that it goes to supporting those who have made such a unique contribution to our society.”
What does the Government say?
Intellectual Property Minister Sam Gyimah said: “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.
“Together we can ensure donations go to the people they are intended for, by only supporting approved merchandise. Be vigilant when you are buying your poppies this year, and look out for the Royal British Legion logo to ensure the merchandise is approved and genuine.”
Main photo – Examples of counterfeit merchandise seized in 2017. Credit: Intellectual Property Office