Groupon Australia recalls fake condoms that may contain holes

The dodgy condoms are likely to have been used

Fake Durex branded condoms, which may have serious flaws such as holes in the latex, have been recalled after they were sold at a discount on Groupon Australia.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Comission (ACCC) initiated the recall last week, warning consumers that the counterfeit condoms "may not prevent pregnancy or protect users from sexually transmitted diseases."

They advised consumers not to use the condoms, and to "immediately destroy and dispose of the products". In a message to customers, Groupon Australia, a website that offers deals and discounted goods, said the condoms could be returned for a full refund.

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An obelisk in Sydney's Hyde Park is covered with a giant condom, as part of a 2014 campaign to raise awareness of HIV in Australia - the Australian government warned that the fake condoms may not prevent sexually transmitted diseases

The fake condoms were sold between 12 March and 10 April this year - meaning many of the condoms may have already been used by consumers.

The Australian Department of Health also issued a warning to healthcare professionals, advising them to be aware of the issue and to advise patients accordingly.

Counterfeiting is a serious problem for condom manufacturers, with cheap fake condoms being produced in their millions across the world, many of them in China.

Shanghai Police yesterday announced they had seized three million fake condoms that contained toxic metals, with officers reporting that the lubricant used to coat the condoms was so disgusting that it made them feel sick.

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The counterfeiting of medicines and pharmaceutical goods is on the rise, with China leading the way - here, health workers prepare to destroy packages of fake medicines in Beijing

Large-scale crackdowns like this are common, with Chinese police seizing almost five million counterfeit condoms in central and eastern China in 2013.

The counterfeiting of medicines and pharmaceutical goods is on the rise, with the industry believed to be worth around $75 billion and criminal gangs using the internet to easily move their goods around the world.

In 2005, a fake condom recall hit the UK and Ireland, with the discovery that thousands of fake condoms, thought to have been produced in China, were being sold in pharmacies and shops.

Speaking to Mashable Australia, a spokesman for Groupon Australia said: "Customers are our utmost priority at Groupon and we take their health and safety very seriously. All customers who purchased the counterfeit products have been proactively contacted by Groupon notifying them of the recall and have been advised to discontinue use immediately, dispose or return the goods, and seek professional medical advice if they have concerns about their health."

Groupon Australia's merchant review policy says that "the internet is rife with more trolls than Norse mythology", and assures customers that they only deal with businesses they trust.

The condoms were sold through Groupon by a company called Edgelounge Enterprises, which was trading under the name Citrus Beat.

Groupon's spokesman assured customers that investigations into the incident is underway.

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