Police issued an advisory Dec. 19 about the hazards posed by counterfeit goods.

“I have seen counterfeit children’s clothes that have no fire retardant; pharmaceuticals that have no active ingredients; electrical devices, such as cell phones, that have caught fire; and the list goes on,” said Const. Toni Zoledowski of the RCMP’s federal serious and organized crime unit.

“There is no way to ensure the products you are using are safe. Yes, you might save a few bucks, but there are huge risks,” said Zoledowski.

RCMP said one recent case of a counterfeit product putting consumers at risk was found when officers seized a counterfeit Canada Goose coat.

The real coats are made with down to insulate the body and North American coyote fur for the trim, said RCMP.

Police contacted the Assiniboine Park Zoo to determine what was in the counterfeit coat.

Tests by the zoo determined the coat used pieces of Chinese domestic duck feathers and raccoon dog fur, a creature native to Asia.

“The seized coat was not filled with down. The wearer of this coat could venture outdoors with the belief this coat provided protection against extreme winter temperatures. There would be virtually no insulation against the extreme cold and the wearer would be at risk of serious injury or even death,” said RCMP.

RCMP said people should look for the following to help weed out counterfeit goods:

1. "Package: Examine the packaging. Look for spelling variants, shoddy appearance, safety certifications or small differences from the authentic logo

2. Price: If it seems too good to be true, it probably is

3. Place: Buy from reputable retailers and use extra diligence when purchasing items through the Internet

4. Product: Examine the quality and appearance of the product"