CHEATING traders are cashing in on the craze for must-have wristbands.
And in Huddersfield the conmen are tricking customers into thinking they are raising cash and awareness of many different charities, such as Cancer Research and anti-racism.
Now, a warning has gone out from West Yorkshire Trading Standards about the scams.
The worldwide appeal for the wristbands started with the launch of the yellow Livestrong band in aid of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a cancer charity set up by the six-times Tour de France cycle race winner.
Prime Minister Tony Blair has shown his support, along with sport and pop idols who have been pictured wearing the wristbands.
The bands have also become the latest must-have fashion accessory among young people.
This week trading standards officers found street traders in Leeds selling fake wristbands. Officers seized a large quantity of counterfeit Livestrong wristbands, which were on sale for between £1 and £2 - significantly higher than the 70p to £1 that they should be sold for - and with the money being pocketed by the traders.
There have also been complaints from other areas.
Martin Wood, West Yorkshire's Chief Trading Standards Officer, said: "This illegal activity will not be tolerated here. The public can help us stop it by buying these bands from official outlets, such as registered charity websites, well-known high street retailers and charity shops."
Kirklees councillor Tony Brice, of the trading standards committee, said: "These traders are callous and devious and are abusing people's generosity as a quick and easy money making scheme. I would urge consumers to buy only from reputable traders, to ensure your money goes to the charity."
Anyone who is offered fake charity wristbands should phone Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.