Police have warned Valentine’s Day shoppers about deadly CYANIDE in fake perfumes.
It follows a raid in which more than 500 suspected dodgy bottles – worth £40,000 – were found.
Counterfeit cosmetics have also been found to have potentially lethal levels of arsenic, mercury and lead.
They are made in unhygienic factories – and rat droppings, rat poison and human urine have been detected.
All of these can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, swelling, rashes and burns, say City of London police.
Det Chief Insp Teresa Russell said: “Valentine’s Day is a counterfeiter’s dream. It’s easy to fall into the trap of a cheap offer.
“Fake make-up and perfume can contain harmful chemicals. And buying counterfeit goods online can mean your personal details are used to set up new fraudulent websites.”
We spend around £90million a year on counterfeit products with a surge at Christmas and Valentine’s Day, which is this Thursday.
And the rise of online selling has made fakes easier to sell, say experts.
Dr Ros Lynch, of the Intellectual Property Office, warned people to look for poor spelling, bad grammar and inconsistent fonts on fake sites.