Global Investigators & Security Consultants
0333 6000 300

Monthly Archives: November 2013

Good Practice Guide for Computer-Based Electronic Evidence

  • November 29, 2013
  • The fourth version of the Association of Chief Police Officers’(ACPO) Good Practice Guide for Computer-Based Electronic Evidence has been released.

    With ever-increasing numbers of digital seizures and constantly developing technology, the guidelines are essential to informing the collection and preservation of this most fragile form of evidence. Previous versions of this document have set vital standards for law enforcement and corporate investigators alike, a position continued with this and future revisions of the document.

    The continuing fast paced evolution of both hardware and software makes it essential to develop best practice in line with the technical challenges which are faced when capturing digital evidence, in order to prevent its contamination or loss.  This latest revision is not only timely, but also essential, in order that practices are fit for purpose when considering recent and upcoming advances in every day technology.

    read more
    by Ron

Welshpool Counterfeiter Prosecuted

  • November 28, 2013
  • A Welshpool trader who produced counterfeit clothing with Trade Marks on and then sold them over the internet has been prosecuted by Powys County Council.

    Sharon Louise Vaughan, trading as perfectly personalised4u, pleaded guilty to eleven charges under the Trade Marks Act 1994 in action taking by the council’s Trading Standards Service.  The hearing took place at Llandrindod Wells Magistrates Court on Wednesday 20 November.

    Magistrates gave Vaughan a two year conditional discharge (reduced from three years due to the early plea entered by the defendant) and ordered to pay £3,000.  All the goods and products seized were also subject to a forfeiture order to be destroyed.

    During the hearing, magistrates heard that a complaint from a company representing brands including boy band ‘JLS’ had spotted the eBay site of Vaughan, which offered a vast array of branded goods including the trade marks of companies they represented.  The company conducted a test purchase, examined the product sold and found it to be inferior and counterfeit.

    An investigation was launched by the council’s Trading Standards Service after the company reported it.  The service found the seller was based in Welshpool and dealing in other branded clothing products of which were suspected to be counterfeit.

    A warrant was executed in December 2012 by trading standards with support from Dyfed Powys Police.  Evidence found demonstrated that Vaughan was using transfers and vinyls and printing equipment to produce products without any permission or rights from the brand companies.

    A considerable volume of transfers and some completed products were seized from the premises with trade mark charges including popular groups such as ‘One Direction’, ‘Little Mix’ and ‘Lady Gaga’. Paypal records revealed that Vaughan had set up a lucrative business without controls in place to determine whether what she was doing was legal.

    Cllr Barry Thomas, Cabinet Member for Trading Standards, said: “This serves as a warning to traders and individuals who decide to produce and supply counterfeit goods over the internet or through local supply chains that they could face legal action with financial penalties.

    “Without our action, this case would have had a damaging effect on the Powys economy and reputation’

    Clive Jones, the council’s Principal Trading Standards Officer, said: “Firm action is needed on any issues related to product counterfeiting to promote fair trading within our community and it is serious indeed to produce counterfeits. This defendant received feedback telling them that they were selling inferior goods but continued to sell the items without conducting safeguards which would have told her quite clearly that what she was doing was illegal.

    “It is particularly important to us to support companies who suffer at the hands of counterfeiters.  We have to stamp out these practises through enforcement and we call upon local residents to inform us of these types of sellers.”

    read more
    by Ron

Watch Out for Cameras on Cash Machines

  • November 26, 2013
  • FRAUD devices have been found on cash machines in West Bridgford, police have  said.

    There have been several reports in Central Avenue in the past month.

    Offenders have placed a strip over the front of the machine where people  enter their cards. These contain a camera to record pin numbers.

    A police spokesman said: “Please have a close look at the cash machine before  entering your card and check that the plastic panel is fixed securely to the  machine. This panel will look very similar to the normal cash machine front  panel and may be made from metal or plastic.”

    People are also being warned to cover their pin numbers when they enter  them.

    Anyone with information should call police on 101.

    Acknowledgement: Nottingham Post


    read more
    by Ron

Counterfeit Goods Warning for Christmas Shoppers

  • SHOPPERS are being warned of the dangers of buying counterfeit goods as criminal gangs flood the British market with fakes for Christmas.

    Counterfeit toys, computer consoles and games, handbags, shoes and beauty products are big business.

    Criminals will go to astonishing lengths to get a slice of this year’s festive shopping market, with Britons expected to spend £6billion.

    As families across the country struggle to pay for essentials like food and heating, a growing number are expected to look for bargains online or in street markets.

    One in five online bargain hunters mistakenly bought fake goods while looking for the best deal last year.

    Brand protection specialist MarkMonitor says it will be worse this year, with more than 8,000 sites identified as selling copies of designer brands including Gucci, Adidas and Mulberry bags, similar to the one pictured above but of poor quality.

    Even before they are launched officially, counterfeiters are mass- producing fake PS4 and Xbox One games consoles in the Far East.

    Gavin Terry, lead officer for the Trading Standards Institute, said: “There are significant risks to buying counterfeit goods, especially counterfeit electrical products or batteries which could cause fires or electric shocks. If you buy counterfeit goods for Christmas presents, what kind of message are you sending to your friends and relatives?”

    He added: “Counterfeiters do not comply with the Sale of Goods Act or offer any form of guarantee.”

    Gangs are also expected to cash in on the high price of tobacco by flooding the market with cheap cigarettes and rolling tobacco containing toxic metals.

    Greater Manchester police recently seized 50 tons of fake goods, including Ugg boots, Tiffany jewellery, Dr Dre headphones, Lacoste shirts, Ice watches and Barbour jackets. The huge haul was worth more than £2million.

    Detective Inspector Chris Mossop said: “If you buy a fake T-shirt or watch, you think you’re getting a bargain but you’re lining the pockets of criminal gangs who use your cash to fund their empires and buy guns and drugs.

    “Criminals can sell counterfeit goods at rock bottom prices and so legitimate businesses end up out of pocket and possibly out of business.”

    Acknowledgement: Express



    read more
    by Ron

ABI Will Use SAFE to Run the ABI Academy

  • November 16, 2013
  • The Association of British Investigators (ABI) has announced that it has reached agreement with training company SAFE to run the ABI Academy.

    The Academy – which will provide access to ABI-approved training and IQ qualifications in response to the emerging requirements for Security Industry Authority (SIA) licensing and other ABI training initiatives – is designed to provide an effective platform for the educational activities of the ABI.

    Under the agreement, the ABI Academy will use SAFE expertise and resources to operate a quality hub centre for trainers wishing to offer IQ Qualifications but who perhaps require back office assistance, provide learning materials for providers, and work with IQ to approve third party training as part of the ABI Approved Trainer Scheme.

    Tony Imossi, president of the ABI said: “The ABI is aware that the market for training in advance of licensing is already beginning to move. It’s important to the Association that it provides the best possible advice to its members and those wishing to undertake training.”

    Imossi continued: “While the SIA is still to finally confirm the requirements for training, we’re sufficiently confident that the current awards offered will be recognised in full, perhaps with the requirement for some top up training after the Home Office has completed its consultation. For those wishing to prepare early for licensing, the Academy should be a useful addition.”

    Gary Scruby, executive director at SAFE, explained: “We’re delighted to be working with the ABI. SAFE has some eight years of experience in running qualifications quality hub operations and providing learning resources, and we look forward to using this experience in support of the private investigation sector.”

    In addition, Scruby commented: “Details for approving ABI Academy Approved Training Providers will be published later this month. We expect the Academy to be operational early in December.”

    Full details of the Academy contact numbers and procedures will be included on the SAFE and ABI websites by early December.

    For advance information contact Gary Scruby at SAFE on (tel) 01952 457452

    read more
    by Ron

‘Bitcoin Ransom Scam’ Warning For Email Users

  • Tens of millions of email users could be targeted in a “mass spamming event” designed to collect people’s financial details.

    The National Crime Agency (NCA) said small and medium businesses have been receiving the fraudulent messages, which appear to be legitimate communication from banks.

    Each email comes with attachments that look like files such as a voicemail, fax, an invoice or details of a suspicious transaction, but is in fact malicious software that encrypts the user’s computer.

    The screen will then display a countdown timer that demands the payment of two Bitcoins in ransom, worth around £536, for the decryption key.

    Lee Miles, deputy head of the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), said: “The NCA are actively pursuing organised crime groups committing this type of crime.

    “We are working in cooperation with industry and international partners to identify and bring to justice those responsible and reduce the risk to the public.”

    The NCCU is trying to uncover who is sending the emails. Anyone whose computer is infected should report it to

    Experts are advising internet users not to click on any attachments like those described, to update anti-virus software and operating systems, and to back up files.

    If a computer is infected it should be disconnected from the network and a professional called in to clear the machine.

    read more
    by Ron

£100k Worth of Fake Goods in Bovingdon Market Raid

  • November 14, 2013
  • Thousands of pounds worth of fake goods have been seized from stalls at Bovingdon market.

    Counterfeit CDs, DVDs, clothing and watches with a street value of around £100,000 were taken from four stalls on Saturday, November 9 following a raid by Hertfordshire Trading Standards,  Hertfordshire Constabulary and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

    Adidas, Stone Island, Ralph Lauren and Lyle and Scott were among the brand names that were seized. The total number of confiscated items of clothing from the seizures was around 1,500 items. There were also around 7,000 CDs and DVDs taken.

    The raid followed detailed intelligence about counterfeit goods being sold at the market.

    Stallholders were arrested and taken to Watford Police Station for interview. Investigations have now begun and those involved could face prosecution. Offenders face unlimited fines or up to 10 years in prison.

    Using the Proceeds of Crime Act, Trading Standards will confiscate and sell any items that were obtained illegally.

    Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Hertfordshire Trading Standards will continue to fight against intellectual property crime. Not only do consumers get ripped off, it also hurts legitimate local businesses – many of whom are already struggling in the current economic climate.

    “We will continue to work with our partners to tackle the problems at the market and would like to thank the police and HMRC for their assistance on Saturday.”

    Fake goods have been seized from Bovingdon Market in 2010 and earlier this year, when Counterfeit CDs, DVDs, clothing, handbags, purses and watches worth around £42,000 were taken from three stalls on Saturday, March 16.

    Members of the public can report sales of counterfeit goods to Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040 506 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.

    Hertfordshire businesses needing advice should contact Hertfordshire Trading Standards’ business advice line on 01707 292429

    Acknowledgement: Watford Observer

    read more
    by Ron

Franks Found Guilty of Selling Fake Tiffany Jewellery

  • November 10, 2013
  • In April 2013 Surelock was contacted by Thames Valley Police and asked to assist them with a seizure of Tiffany & Co jewellery along with other counterfeit goods. A woman by the name of Susan Franks had been approaching shop keepers in the Burnham / Taplow areas.  Surelock assisted the Police and authenticated all the items as counterfeit.

    At the trial on 4th November, 2013 at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court, Susan Franks was found guilty of possessing goods with a false trade mark for sale / hire.

    She was fined £500, has to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and costs of £620 to the Crown Prosecution Service

    read more
    by Ron

Susan Franks Found Guilty of Selling Fake Tiffany Jewellry

  • In April 2013 Surelock was contacted by Thames Valley Police and asked to assist them with a seizure of Tiffany & Co jewellry along with other counterfeit goods. A woman by the name of Susan Franks had been approaching shop keepers in the Burnham / Taplow areas.  Surelock assisted the Police and authenticated all the items as counterfeit.

    At the trial on 4th November, 2013 at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court, Susan Franks was found guilty of possessing goods with a false trade mark for sale / hire.

    She was fined £500, has to pay a victim surcharge of £50 and costs of £620 to the Crown Prosecution Service

    read more
    by Ron

Running Torquay Shopkeeper Fined for Selling Fakes

  • A SHOPKEEPER grabbed a bag of counterfeit clothes and ran from his store  after being caught selling fake One Direction sweatshirts in Torquay.

    Joshua Lowles, 24, fled trading standard officers who were bagging evidence  of illegal selling at his shop on Victoria Parade in Torquay.

    They had collected a range of items being sold by Ace Customised Clothing & Printing Company, including sweatshirts, T-shirts and mugs adorned with  images of Harry Styles and bandmates, Olly Murs and Justin Bieber.

    Lowles, director of the business, returned to the store with the bag 10  minutes later saying: “That’s how easy it is, you should never take your eyes  off it.”

    His antics did not impress magistrates in Torquay who ordered him and his  company to pay fines and costs of £3,800.

    Lowles, of Mallock Road, Torquay, pleaded guilty to four offences of illegal  trading including misleading customers and obstructing a trading standards  officer from Torbay Council.

    The company admitted eight offences of displaying or selling counterfeit  goods.

    Suspicions were raised in August 2012 when an inspection found counterfeit  Monster Energy sweatshirts being sold at the shop.

    Huw James, senior trading standards officer, made a test purchase of a hoodie  for £14.99.

    After examination the garment was found to be counterfeit and the shop did  not have the trademark owner’s consent to display or sell it.

    Jeremy Shute, prosecutor for the council, told magistrates that officers met  Lowles during a subsequent visit but that he gave them false information about  the name of the business.

    “This was somewhat indicative of Mr Lowles initial attitude because he was  unwilling to allow Mr James and his colleague to look around the shop and  inspect his stock,” Mr Shute said.

    A further 15 Monster Energy sweatshirts were seized.

    But despite the threat of prosecution the business carried on selling  counterfeit items.

    In August this year counterfeit One Direction clothing was displayed at the  shop.

    Mr James made a visit and found sweatshirts, jackets, T-shirts and mugs  displaying Harry Styles, One Direction, Monsters University, Olly Murs,  Despicable Me and Justin Bieber.

    Lowles told him:  “Stop the small talk, take whatever you want.”

    But as the officer started to pack away the evidence Lowles made a run for  it.

    Mr Shute said: “The process was suddenly interrupted by Lowles who, without  warning, grabbed the bag containing the seized items and ran out of the  shop.

    “Mr James did not believe anything could be gained by giving chase and  fortunately, within 10 minutes, Mr Lowles returned to the shop, dropped the bag  at the feet of the officers and said ‘that’s how easy it is, you should never  take your eyes off it’.

    All seized items were sent to the trademark holders, including Bieber Time  Holdings LLC, Disney Enterprises Inc, Simco Limited, Monster Energy Company and  Oliver Murs.

    They all confirmed they were counterfeit and the shop did not have permission  to sell them.

    They said the goods were of poor quality and selling them had the potential  for customers to be misled and put at risk the reputations of the trade mark  owners and genuine retailers.

    It is not known what profit  Lowles made as a result of the business selling  the clothing.

    The defendant had no previous convictions.

    Afterwards a spokesman for Kitsons, on behalf of Lowles, said ACE clothing is  a ‘reputable business’ and ‘the overwhelming majority’ of its products are  trademark compliant.

    He said a few articles were sold ‘at a price that matches the quality’ and  Lowles was confident that the public knew what they were buying.

    “Sadly in not having authorisation to use the ‘Monster’ or ‘One Direction’  logos ACE has broken the law.

    “For that our client apologises and reiterates that they will not knowingly  repeat this error.

    “Our client ran out of the shop in a panic when faced with the trading  standards officer and bitterly regrets his actions.”

    Cllr Robert Excell, Torbay Council’s executive lead for safer communities,  said: “We welcome the outcome of this case.

    “We work hard to protect the trading position of legitimate businesses to  ensure  they are supported to grow and develop and we will intervene with those  traders who flout the law.”

    From Torquay Herald Express:


    read more
    by Ron