Auckland shoppers are losing thousands of dollars through online scammers selling fake designer handbags.

Replica Chanel handbags are becoming the bane of fashionistas' lives, with Auckland police reporting they have received a number of complaints relating to knock-off bags being sold in the city.

A police Facebook post warned more buyers may be potentially targeted.

"The seller is using Trade Me and Facebook accounts under several different names and has sold a few of these fake bags at the original price - ranging between $3200 and $3600," the post read.

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Some designer copies are obvious, but others are a little trickier to spot. So, how can you tell if the Chanel bag that you are about to buy online is the real deal?

When purchasing one of these items, it should come with an authenticity card and receipts.

Another telltale sign of authenticity is the look of the Chanel CC label.

The right 'C' must always overlap on top and the left 'C' must always overlap on the bottom. If this is not the case with a bag you are about to purchase, you can guarantee that it is not authentic.

Authentic Chanel bags should also have a high stitch count - more than 10 stitches per inch, whereas a fake bag usually has a low stitch count.

The lining is a good indication of the quality of an item. In an authentic Chanel bag, the lining fits snug inside with no bumps. It is normally very difficult to separate the lining from the bag.

When compared to a replica, the lining is baggy and loose and extremely easy to pull out from the bag.

Also check the colour of the stamping in the bag. If the hardware is silver, the stamping in the bag should also be silver. An authentic Chanel bag never has mismatched hardware and stamping.

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If anyone has bought a replica Chanel handbag or has any information on their sales, they are asked to contact Robert Hawkins at NZ Police on Robert.hawkins@police.govt.nz