Fake designer handbags worth nearly £40,000 have been seized by Trading Standards officers in Morecambe and Preston since 2014, according to Handbag Clinic research.
The statistics, revealed in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to Lancashire County Council, show a total of 75 fake handbags were retrieved by Trading Standards officials since 2014.
Handbag Clinic estimates they would have been worth in the region of £40,000 if genuine.
Fakes were seized from a mixture of retail and residential premises in Morecambe and Preston.
Handbag Clinic sells a range of genuine pre-owned designer bags across its four stores in Leeds, Newcastle, Islington and Chelsea and online.
Charlotte Staerck, purchasing manager at Handbag Clinic, said: “It’s great that these items have been prevented from being sold, but clearly these figures are just the tip of the iceberg.
“Whereas once, it might have been common to see fake designer clothing, accessories, handbags and electrical goods being sold on market stalls or at car boot fairs, now this crime has, to an extent, moved online onto social media. “It’s vital that the consumer is protected from receiving inferior goods and that legitimate businesses are not undercut by rogue traders.
“While some people may not mind buying phony goods as long as they are cheaper than the genuine article, others are being duped into buying bags they believe are real.
“It may seem like a victimless crime, but investigations have linked counterfeit goods to sweatshop working practices, child labour, organised crime and even the funding of terrorism.”