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September 2014 - Surelock
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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Rugby World Cup 2015 – Kick it like Wilko

  • September 29, 2014
  • Rugby World Cup 2015 Anti FraudThis is the  latest Buy Official advert during the ticketing sales window for the Rugby World Cup 2015.  It is an excellent video highlighting the need to be vigilant when buying tickets.



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    by Ron

Two Prosecuted by Caerphilly Trading Standards over Fake Goods

  • September 21, 2014
  • The successful prosecution of Darren Greenhaf follows an investigation and evidence provided by Surelock.

    Caerphilly Trading Standards have issued a warning for residents to be on their guard against fake goods.

    The warning comes after two men were prosecuted by Caerphilly County Borough Council for selling counterfeit goods and tobacco.

    Darren Greenhaf, 40 of Heol Gwaun Rhos, Caerphilly, was taken to court following an investigation by Trading Standards team.

    Greenhaf was found to be operating an online clothing business called ‘Back to the Future’, selling printed t-shirts and hooded sweatshirts.

    The clothing had the names and logos of music stars such as One Direction, Justin Bieber and The Wanted – all without the authority of the owners of those registered trademarks.

    A warrant was executed at Greenhaf’s home and business address in August 2012 – and a haul of pre-printed counterfeit garments were seized, along with pre-cut vinyl transfers and equipment such as computers, vinyl cutters and heat presses.

    Greenhaf appeared at Newport Magistrates’ Court on September 8 and was charged with ten offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994.

    He pleaded guilty to the charges and was fined a total of £750. He was also ordered to pay costs to the council of £2,198.96 and a victim surcharge of £20.

    The court was told that Trading Standards discovered that between February 2012 and May 2012, Greenhaf had made a total of £4,537.01 from the sale of 309 counterfeit One Direction garments alone. In addition, he made £1,722.86 from the sale of 108 counterfeit Justin Bieber garments and a further £59.96 from the sale of four counterfeit The Wanted garments.

    Also during the course of the investigation, Trading Standards discovered that on one particular day, Greenhaf had a total of 61,229 clothing items listed for sale online.

    In a separate case, a shopkeeper was prosecuted recently following an investigation into the sale of counterfeit tobacco.

    Trading Standards carried out an inspection at Walters Convenience Store in Cwmfelinfach in May this year.

    Fake Amber Leaf hand rolling tobacco was being offered for sale alongside genuine pouches of the tobacco.

    The fake tobacco was priced at £10 while the genuine tobacco was priced at £16.

    John Godfrey Hale, 62, of Cwmfelinfach, a partner in the business, appeared at Newport Magistrates’ Court recently, charged and admitted charges under the Trade Marks Act 1984.

    He was fined £300 and was ordered to pay £496.30 and a £30 victim surcharge.

    Cllr David Poole, Cabinet Member for Community and Leisure Services said, “Our Trading Standards team are extremely proactive in working to tackle the sale and supply of counterfeit items. Not only does the sale of such items affect customers, many of whom are duped into believing the products are genuine but legitimate manufacturers selling genuine items are also seriously affected by the trade in counterfeit goods.”

    He added: “Counterfeiting is a serious crime which can have a significant impact upon our communities, and people should be seriously mindful of the real effects of purchasing counterfeit goods in that such behaviour only continues to fund people that undermine our communities.”


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    by Ron

Can Alibaba Knock Out Knockoffs?

  • Although Alibaba Group has been cracking down on vendors using its online marketplaces to sell counterfeit goods, consumers aren’t likely to be any safer after the company’s initial public offering. Counterfeiters are finding new ways of moving their goods.

    Brand protection firms, which hunt down fake versions of clients’ products online, say Alibaba Group, has made big strides in recent years to change the reputation of its platforms—which include Alibaba, Taobao, Tmall and AliExpress—as hubs for counterfeit goods. “There’s no doubt in my mind that they are concerned, that they need to be seen as cleaning up their act,” said Haydn Simpson, head of brand protection at NetNames Global.

    Workers distribute packs at an express company on November 12, 2012 in Wuhan, China.

    ChinaFotoPress | Getty Images

    Alibaba Group did not respond to requests for comment, but the company’s Form F-1 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this year noted among its risk factors the possibility of lawsuits or other scrutiny over listings for pirated or counterfeit goods.

    “Although we have adopted measures to verify the authenticity of products sold on our marketplaces and minimize potential infringement of third-party intellectual property rights through our intellectual property infringement complaint and take-down procedures, these measures may not always be successful,” the company wrote.

    In late 2012, the Office of the United States Trade Representative removed Taobao from its list of “notorious markets,” saying the site had significantly decreased sales of infringing products—an effort that has continued. A report Alibaba Group filed with the office earlier this year said Taobao had removed 114 million suspect listings in the first nine months of 2013. Over the past year, the company has announced cooperative agreements with companies including Louis Vuitton, and such groups as the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition, the China-Britain Business Council and the Korean Intellectual Property Council, to identify and delist infringing items.

    “Alibaba’s approach is very progressive, and getting better every day,” said Greg Miller, president of brand protection for OpSec Security. The investigation processes for complaints has speeded up, reducing typical response time from a week to a matter of days, he said.

    Experts say it’s unlikely, however, that the measures will be enough. “It is an ever-evolving game,” Miller said. “The counterfeiters are quite creative in their approach.” Even with Alibaba Group’s escalating efforts, some NetNames Global clients still estimate that as much as 80 percent of the Taobao listings mentioning their brand are fakes, Simpson said.

    Part of the difficulty for Alibaba Group in particular is scale, with more listings on their sites than both Amazon and eBay—which themselves are still battling counterfeit listings. “I have some sympathy for the Alibaba Group as to how they would police that,” Simpson said.

    Lynda Talgo, vice president of global managed marketplaces at eBay, said the site’s technology has helped it cut incidence of fraud in half over the past seven years. Algorithms to spot fraud prevent many fraudulent listings from going up, she said, and having some $55 billion in site transactions covered under the “eBay Money Back Guarantee” offers added incentive to quickly remove any that do get through. “We’ve got significant investment and infrastructure and multiple level of protection,” she said.

    Amazon, which did not respond to requests for comment, also offers an “A-to-Z customer guarantee” on purchases made through third-party sellers.

    Although violators generally face suspensions or blocks, sellers thwarted on one infringing listing will usually simply make another, getting around site protections by creating a new account. “It is like Whac-a-Mole,” said Damian Croker, chief executive of BrandStrike Limited.

    Complicating matters, counterfeiters are also increasingly expanding beyond brands’ reach. “The growing issue these days is not so much eBay and Amazon, but Facebook and other social media sites,” Croker said. “On there, people are offering product for sale, and it’s much harder to monitor, much harder to find.”

    Experts say Alibaba Group and other marketplaces can take other steps to limit fraudulent listings, namely, adjusting software to automatically flag for investigation listings with certain key words (say, “replica” or frequently faked brands like Chanel or Rolex). “The question and the challenge is, where do you draw the line?” Simpson said. “They wouldn’t want to cannibalize their own marketplace by removing tens of thousands of listings every day.”

    Companies are also hopeful for better coordination with marketplaces to flag and remove infringing listings. Currently, different sites have different processes and require different proofs. “The only efficient way to do it is to work collaboratively with the brands,” said Bob Barchiesi, president of the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition. “The brands are the experts on what to look for when it comes to counterfeit goods.”

    Personal Finance and Consumer Spending Reporter



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    by Ron

Universal Door Lock On Sale After Inventor Raises £10k

  • September 18, 2014
  • 1410788976253_wps_21_Bob_fitzjohn_lockA grandfather has helped answer the concerns of travellers across the globe by creating a portable lock which can secure almost any door in the world.

    Bob Fitzjohn, 66, form London, developed The EasyLock device at his kitchen table after raising more than £10,000 from crowdfunding website, IndieGogo.

    This device, which weighs less than an iPhone, will completely secure any type of door that opens inwards, anywhere on the globe, providing extra security for guests using hotels, B&Bs, or even beach huts.

    It works by being fastened across the door’s latchplate and hooking onto the outside of the doorframe. The lock is then secured in place with an adjustable handle.

    It also allows users to open the door slightly to check a caller’s identity and pass through slim items.

    Mr Fitzjohn, an entrepreneur, said he spent hours drawing up the designs and making the prototypes at his kitchen table before setting up an online scheme to get money from members of the public to help him produce the invention.

    He was appealing for £10,000, but eventually managed to secure almost £10,500 with donors praising the idea.

    In return for their money, Mr Fitzjohn offered people a number of free EasyLocks depending on the amount they had pledged.

    One member of the public offered £2,500 in the early stages of the campaign with Mr Fitzjohn promising to send him 50 free EasyLocks once the invention had been finally produced.

    The new product is being sold for £24.95, and is being advertised as ‘the perfect gift for a travel lover’.
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-2756562/I-wanted-grandchildren-safe-travelling-Lock-fits-ANY-door-world-goes-sale-entrepreneur-raises-10-000-crowdfunding-website.html#ixzz3DflKNoDD


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    by Ron

London Arrests over £1m Courier Fraud in South West

  • September 15, 2014
  • A dawn arrest is made by Met Police in London
    Police searched three properties in Tower Hamlets, East London

    Three men have been arrested in London as part of an investigation into a £1m fraud in south-west England.

    Search warrants were executed at three properties in Tower Hamlets, east London, where three 18-year-olds were detained on suspicion of fraud.

    More than 300 mainly elderly people have been tricked out of money, police said.

    Many of those were fooled into sending money to fraudsters pretending to be officers investigating crimes.

    A dawn arrest is made by Met Police in London
    The arrests follow an investigation led by Zephyr, the south-west regional organised crime unit

    “Elaborate and convincing reasons” are used to encourage the victim to withdraw large sums of cash which are then sent to London by taxi or courier, or transferred electronically to a fraudulent bank account, said police.

    The fraudster claims the money is potential evidence for an investigation and is needed for forensic examination.

    One victim handed over £40,000.

    ‘Despicable crime’

    A three-month investigation has been led by Zephyr, the south-west regional organised crime unit, supported by Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire police forces.

    Det Ch Insp Will White, of Zephyr, said: “Today’s arrests should provide some reassurance that we are working with colleagues in forces in the South West to tackle this despicable form of crime which preys in the main on the elderly and vulnerable.”

    Nine out of every 10 people contacted have been aged over 60, police said.

    “Broadly the same approach has been used by a number of fraudsters across the South West and in other parts of the country. The scam started in the south east of England but has spread much wider,” said Mr White.

    “The police and the banks will never ask you for banking details or Pin numbers on the phone.

    “Similarly, they would never send a so-called ‘courier’ to collect bank cards or money.”




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    by Ron

Families Warned over Killer Car Seats

  • September 14, 2014
  • car seat testing video stillA Surrey County Council investigation has uncovered a market in deadly car seats that can kill a child at just 30mph.

    The council’s trading standards team is warning families of young children not to buy the illegal seats, which are imported from China and fail all UK safety standards.

    Crash testing done by Britax shows the seats rip apart on impact at 30mph, catapulting a dummy the size of a three-year-old through the front of the car.

    After following up an initial complaint about a Surrey sale, the county council has so far got around a dozen seats taken off the market and worked with online giants eBay and Amazon to remove over 100 more.

    However, other foreign websites are still flouting UK law and selling the seats online to British customers, and the council has alerted the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills to the problem.

    Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “Our priority is protecting Surrey families from these killer car seats, which tear apart so easily.

    “We’ll continue to track and seize these deadly car seats, but our operation in England is just the tip of the iceberg as global online sales are our biggest problem.”

    She added: “The crash test kindly carried out by Britax shows this car seat would cause horrific injuries at just 30mph, so tell us urgently if you’ve seen one and we’ll take action.”

    The illegal car seats have no maker’s label. The council advises parents to buy a car seat that is new, made by an established company and, ideally, professionally fitted.

    The video of the car seat testing can be viewed here. 

    To report a car seat, contact Surrey County Council’s trading standards department on 03454 040506 (9am-5pm weekdays).

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    by Ron

Create a Winning Video for the TSI and Receive £1,000.

  • camera imageThe Trading Standards Institute (TSI) is calling all amateur videographers, media students, filmmakers and directors to create a 90-second ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ informational video. The video should be designed to encourage friends, family, neighbours and carers to help protect vulnerable citizens against doorstep crime. Creators of the winning video will receive a £1,000 prize.

    The competition, sponsored by the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW) and the Institute of Scottish Professional Willwriters (ISPW), was launched today by broadcaster and journalist Lynn Faulds Wood at TSI’s annual Conference. Winners will be announced during this year’s TSI National Consumer Week (NCW) campaign to raise awareness in communities of rogue traders and encourage them to look out for each other.

    “I have seen first-hand the distress that rogue traders cause their victims and the devastating impact that it can have on their lives,” said Consumer Minister Jenny Willott. “Video is a brilliant way to raise awareness of this important issue and is another weapon in the war on dodgy traders who prey on the most vulnerable people in our communities. I urge amateur videographers, media students and others to take up the challenge and help stop people from falling foul of this type of crime.”

    As part of the ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ campaign, competition participants will create a video encouraging people to prevent elderly and vulnerable neighbours, family and friends from falling victim to exploitive doorstep traders.

    “This is a great opportunity for creative minds to join trading standards in promoting our key messages and protecting the most vulnerable members of our communities,” said Leon Livermore, TSI chief executive. “Every year there are as many as 170,000 incidents in the UK where rogue traders try to illicitly solicit money from consumers in their home. Not only does this impact an individual’s financial wellbeing, it affects their mental and physical health. The ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ video competition is a great opportunity to use the creative capital in this country to help protect some of our most vulnerable citizens.”

    The deadline for entries is midnight Wednesday 1 October. All videos will be considered for a place in the semi-final. Semi-finalists will be announced on 20 October. The videos will then be judged by a panel of industry and media experts including Faulds Wood and National Consumer Federation (NCF) President Mary McAnally.

    “The IPW and ISPW are delighted to be sponsoring something as important as National Consumer Week,” said IPW CEO Sally L Brown. “All of our members are trained to be aware of the importance of identifying and helping the vulnerable and in particular the elderly when attending on them to write their wills. I am particularly pleased that we can help get the message out to the general public about the importance of being a good neighbour.”

    The winner will be announced at the beginning of NCW on 3 November, will receive £1,000 and will have their video played by trading standards officers and community partners across the country as part of an educational campaign.

    To enter, visit the TSI ‘Good Neighbours Stop Rogue Traders’ page……. (links removed as out of date)

    For further information, to arrange an interview or to obtain photographs please contact the Trading Standards Institute on 0845 6089439 or ivyh@tsi.org.uk or follow the TSI Conference via our Twitter feed at @tsi_UK #TSICONF

    For rules and more information on the competition, please visit http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/events/2014.cfm

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    by Ron

£10m Worth of Cosmetics Seized at Channel Tunnel

  • September 10, 2014
  • Border Force officers at the Channel Tunnel entrance in France have seized around 578 boxes of counterfeit cosmetic gift sets with a potential value of up to £10 million.

    The seizure was made in the early hours of 28 August as officers carried out checks on a Dutch-registered vehicle en route to a business park in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

    These cosmetics were seized at the Channel Tunnel Credit: Home Office
    These cosmetics were seized at the Channel Tunnel Credit: Home Office

    The Border Force team inspected the load and it soon became clear that the cosmetic sets and their packaging were of inferior quality.

    The goods were seized and the investigation has been passed to Kent County Council Trading Standards.

    “I would like to praise my officers for their vigilance in identifying these fakes. Counterfeit goods cause damage to legitimate businesses and traders and they leave customers out of pocket with inferior and possibly dangerous goods. Border Force will continue to play a key role in fighting and disrupting serious and organised crime and protecting the UK’s economy.”

    – Paul Morgan, Director of Border Force South East and Europe

    “This is one of the biggest hauls of counterfeit goods we have ever encountered. As soon as we examined the items, it was clear from errors with the labelling and instructions that the cosmetics were definitely fake. The makes involved include Dior, Chanel, Bobbi Brown and MAC. We have now sent samples for testing so that we can determine whether these cosmetics were actually dangerous as well as counterfeit. Protecting UK businesses and consumers from this organised crime is an important aspect of our work and this seizure is a clear demonstration of the value of the partnership between KCC Trading Standards and the Border Force.”

    Kent County Council Trading Standards Manager Mark Rolfe

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    by Ron

Police Have ‘Given Up’ Investigating Some Crimes says Report

  • September 6, 2014
  • Police in city centreA police watchdog has found that some forces in England and Wales have “almost given up” investigating certain crimes such as thefts from vehicles, and criminal damage.

    A report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary found there was a postcode lottery in the way different forces dealt with the same crimes and revealed some victims were being encouraged to investigate incidents themselves.

    For Daniel Sandford’s video report http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-29058472


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    by Ron

Hello world!

  • September 5, 2014
  • Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

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    by Ron