UGG Boot buyers fall victim to online scams

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You either love them or you hate them.

Fashionable UGG Boots seem to be here to stay, but stylish Lancastrians have been so keen to buy them they have been falling foul of online scams.

Shoppers are being warned to avoid websites offering the snug sheepskin boots, which retail for around 160, for as little as 20.

Celebrities such as Hollywood stars Megan Fox and Penelope Cruz, singer Gwen Stefani and even Justin Timberlake have been spotted wearing genuine UGGs, making the Australian footwear a must-have accessory.

Lancashire County Council's trading standards team received 33 complaints from residents about websites selling fake UGG boots last year and have logged five calls about them so far this month.

Customers reported discount and auction websites selling boots of very poor quality with shabby linings, poor stitching and crooked heels.

Others did not arrive at all.

County Coun Albert Atkinson, deputy leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "Our trading standards team works hard to protect the public from the sale of counterfeit goods such as these fake UGG boots.

"They may appear cheap but are often very poor quality. Once you have paid for these goods via scam websites, it's very hard, if not impossible, to get your money back."

Most of the websites are registered in Asia even though they appear to be UK-based.

And people who use unauthorised sites also run the risk of having their identity, credit card and banking details stolen.

Jim Potts, chief trading standards officer, said: "People are always on the look out for a bargain, especially at this time of year when money is tight, but don't be taken in by websites offering astonishing discounts. These dodgy websites may look genuine at first glance but closer inspection will reveal their hidden nature.

"Lots of people have been disappointed on receiving fake UGG boots from these sites.

"Beware of these websites and remember, if it looks too good to be true it probably is."

A list of authorised high street and online retailers is available on the UGG Australia official website www.uggaustralia.com.

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