TRADING standards officers have issued a warning over dangerous counterfeit designer hair straighteners.
Some of the fakes, which carry the top-rated ghd brand, have failed to meet basic electrical safety requirements, while others have been found not to heat up properly or not at all.
The straighteners, which are known to be on sale across the UK, have previously been seized in Hartlepool and it is feared that they could again be on sale in the town or elsewhere in the region.
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Michael Welsh, Hartlepool Council’s principal Trading Standards officer, said: "The genuine articles sell for £100 or more, but the counterfeit ones are still being offered from £50 upwards, which is a lot of money for a product that may cause injury or not work as it should.
"The fakes come in a variety of coloured boxes, but some of the pink ones carry a pledge that £10 from the retail price will be donated to a cancer charity.
"Clearly, if you buy fake then all the money will be going into the con merchant’s pocket and not to charity."
The fakes are believed to have been made in China, whilst the real ghd product is made in Korea.
Mr Welsh added: "The only way shoppers can really tell whether or not straighteners are genuine is through the person selling them.
"If they are not an official stockist, and there are very few in Hartlepool, then be warned!
"Once again, this proves the old adage that if an offer seems too good to be true then it probably is. We would urge people not to be tempted to buy on impulse as Christmas approaches."
Anyone who has been offered this item should let Trading Standards know on 01429-523362.