A 26-year-old Vancouver man is under investigation for selling bogus brand-name makeup at the Abbotsford Flea Market on Sunday (April 15).
Const. Ian MacDonald said if the fake MAC Cosmetics items had been legitimate, their value would have been about $10,000.
The items were discovered as Abbotsford Police patrol division officers were walking through the flea market, which runs out of the Ag-Rec Building at Abbotsford Exhibition Park, at about 11:30 a.m.
MacDonald said the officers spoke with a vendor selling MAC-labelled makeup and examined the items, which were being sold at prices well below retail/store value.
MacDonald said the officers seized the items to determine their authenticity after the man offered several inconsistent stories about how the product was obtained and failed to produce any receipts or paperwork.
A MAC representative confirmed to police on Wednesday that the seized products were fake.
MacDonald said the suspect has been under investigation in other areas for running the same scam, but no charges have yet been laid against him.
He said sham products of all kinds are usually manufactured overseas, such as Asia, “where labour is a lot cheaper and where there isn’t going to be a lot of enforcement of corporate and brand protection.”
In the case of makeup, there are risks that the products could contain contaminants.
A MAC Cosmetics representative said, in a statement issued through the Abbotsford Police, that the company is concerned to hear about the incident and is working closely with police.
“MAC has no control over merchandise that is sold at unauthorized accounts,” the rep stated.