FAKE poppy crooks are cashing in on the annual appeal that raises millions to help ex-service personnel and remember war dead, charity chiefs warn.
The Royal British Legion that organises Poppy Day are urging consumers to beware of scammers ahead of Remembrance Day 2018.
"We advise people to buy responsibly through official channels, and to report fake poppy merchandise. Your donations are intended to support Armed Forces community men, women, veterans and their families. But instead they could end up benefitting fraudsters if their poppy merchandise turns out to be fake."
The RBL, which raises almost £40 million from the Poppy Appeal, has registered its rights for the poppy goods to prevent such counterfeiting.
Now the RBL has teamed up with the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit to crack down on the rogue traders making money from the fake Remembrance goods.
The warning applies to poppy merchandise - scarves, jewellery, poppy pins and larger poppy brooches - but does not apply to the traditional paper poppies.
The PIPCU team has been targeting suspected sellers - last year Border Force officers at Tilbury intercepted a shipment of poppy merchandise intended for the UK worth more than £150,000.