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Monthly Archives: December 2013

“Online Onslaught” – Press Release from ACG

  • December 15, 2013
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  • Friday 13th proved to be especially bad luck for those selling counterfeit goods on Facebook.

    Figures released today show more than 600 traders offering in excess of 1300 listings which are being removed in what is hoped to be the first of many such exercises aimed at disrupting and dismantling counterfeiting activity on the Facebook platform.

    The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) and 17 of its members have been monitoring the platform and collecting evidence against individuals and groups.

    The fakes being targeted range from branded cosmetics and electrical goods to clothing and footwear.

    Having identified the offending pages they then initiated a takedown operation through Facebook’s own reporting tool, removing illegal content and supporting Trading Standards across the UK in targeted enforcement actions on traders.

    ACG Director General Chrissie Florczyk said “Facebook is being used by hundreds of counterfeiters to sell a whole range of products to consumers. This activity severely impacts on our members and through our coordination role we are committed to supporting any activity that reduces this threat. All of the data collected will be passed to law enforcement agencies, so the message to anybody considering selling fakes on Facebook is beware!”

    Handley Brustad Lead officer for Intellectual Property, Trading Standards Institute commented “We wholeheartedly support this initiative.  These actions can only benefit consumers, by preventing them from being misled”.

    “The City of London Police fully supports the work of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) to help protect rights holders in the branded goods sector.  As we move into 2014, both our Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) will continue to work closely with the ACG as well as social media platforms to protect consumers and businesses from intellectual property theft.”

    The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG) is a not for profit trade association which represents rights holders in the branded goods sectors (see our website www.a-cg.org for more information). It is a unique forum for stakeholders in the anti-counterfeiting field to collaborate and support each other – from brand owners through specialist service providers to the law enforcement agencies which are responsible for enforcing the criminal provisions of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

    For further information on this press release, please contact Chrissie Florczyk on 01494 449165.

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    by Ron

Royal Mail Email Scam Alert

  • December 9, 2013
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  • It is believed that fraudsters are exploiting the increase in Royal Mail deliveries during the Christmas period to upload malware on to computers of unsuspecting victims.

    A scam email is currently being sent to victims fraudulently claiming to be from Royal Mail.  The email states that Royal Mail is holding an item for the customer. The subject header is ‘Mail – Lost/Missing Package’ and reads:

    “Royal Mail have detained your package for some reason (for example, lack of a proper invoice, bill of sale, or other documentation, a possible trademark violation or if the package requires formal entry). The RM International Mail Branch holding it will notify you of the reason for detention (in writing) and how you can get it released”.

    The email then asks the recipient to open up an attachment to complete a document. It is believed that the attachment contains a zip file with a malicious virus.

    Royal Mail is aware of the scam and is taking action to protect customers from these fraudsters. Royal Mail state that they will never:

    • Send an email asking for credit card numbers or other personal or confidential information
    • Ask customers to enter information on a page that isn’t part of the Royal Mail website
    • Include attachments unless the email was solicited by a customer e.g. the customer has contacted Royal mail with an enquiry or has signed up for updates from Royal Mail.

    Royal Mail and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB)  advise customers NOT to open the attachment if they receive this email and to report the scam email to Action Fraud by calling the 0300 123 2040 or via the web reporting template at www.actionfraud.police.uk

    Advice regarding the scam can also be found on the Royal Mail website at: http://www.royalmail.com/personal/help-and-support/I-think-Ive-had-an-email-from-a-company-pretending-to-be-royal-mail

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    by Ron

PIPCU Suspends 90 Websites Selling Counterfeit Goods

  • December 4, 2013
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  • The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) has worked with Europol and US authorities to help suspend hundreds of websites that were selling counterfeit merchandise online to unsuspecting consumers.

    The 690 domain names disrupted worldwide are part of project ‘In Our Sites – Transatlantic 3’, coordinated by Europol for the participating EU Member States and the Homeland Security Investigations-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) in Washington D.C. for the US.

    PIPCU, representing the UK for Europol, suspended 90 websites, with Europol Member States, Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Romania and Spain suspending a further 303. The US ICE IPR Center accounted 297 domain name seizures in the US.

    Superintendent Bob Wishart, from PIPCU said: “PIPCU is proud to be a part of this cross-party worldwide operation, which is committed to combating online intellectual property crime.

    “The 90 websites we have suspended sends a clear warning out to anyone else who thinks they can sell counterfeit goods on the internet with little fear of ever being stopped.”

    During the weeks leading up to the end of the year, the market is flooded with counterfeit products being sold at stores, on street corners, and online, not only ripping the consumer off and providing shoddy products, but also putting their personal financial information at risk. The most popular counterfeit products seized each year include headphones, sports jerseys, personal care products, shoes, toys, luxury goods, cell phones and electronic accessories.

    During the last few weeks Europol and the IPR Center received leads from trademark holders regarding the infringing websites. Those leads were disseminated to HSI offices in Denver, Dallas, El Paso, Houston and Salt Lake City as well as PIPCU at City of London Police, the Belgium Economic Inspection, Belgium Customs, Denmark Police, Hungarian Customs, French Gendarmerie, French Customs, Romanian Police, Spanish Guardia Civil and Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department.

    The domain names seized are now in the custody of the governments involved in these operations. Visitors typing those domain names into their Web browsers will now find a banner that notifies them of the seizure and educates them about the federal crime of willful copyright infringement.

    Project ‘In Our Sites’ is a sustained law enforcement initiative that began more than three years ago to protect consumers by targeting the sale of counterfeit merchandise on the Internet.

    http://www.cityoflondon.police.uk/CityPolice/Media/News/domainsuspended.htm

     

     

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    by Ron

The Twelve Online Frauds of Christmas