Shoppers are being advised to check ‘designer’ handbags sold online are genuine.
Police have issued the advice after a woman was convicted of fraud by false representation and possessing criminal property after selling fake designer handbags online.
Melanie Scollen, 35, of Hillheads Court, Whitley Bay, appeared before North Tyneside Magistrates Court, pleaded guilty to the two charges and was ordered to pay £3,000 compensation and costs.
Scollen advertised counterfeit Hermes handbags as authentic designer bags on her website, with prices ranging from £3,000 to £6,000. Police investigated when the fakes were discovered.
Detective Sergeant Simon Gilhespy said: “We know that genuine designer handbags sell for many thousands of pounds and would always urge people looking to buy a bargain designer bag privately online to be extremely cautious.
“Buyers need to be able to authenticate that such an item is genuine, which is very difficult to do when the seller is a private individual online. This can only usually be done when the buyer has taken delivery of the goods and by this time money will have already changed hands.”
“Remember, if it looks to good to be true, then it probably is.”