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October 2015 - Surelock
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Monthly Archives: October 2015

Seizure of Copyright Infringing Material at ExCeL

  • October 29, 2015
  • blog image 29.10.15On Friday 23 October 2015 a team from TRAP consisting of Max Arguile, Licensing Manager for GB eye Ltd, Philip Herbert from Hamlins LLP and investigators from Surelock, attended the MCM London Comic Con at the ExCeL London


    Fourteen stands were identified as selling copyright infringing items.  These were removed from display and seized.

    read more
    by dave

Old Spitalfields Market Stall Holder Prosecuted for Selling Counterfeit T-Shirts

  • Following a reconnaissance carried out by Surelock on behalf of TRAP in October 2014 at Old Spitalfields Market, Commercial Street, London E1, a stall holder Rajesh Joshi, was identified selling counterfeit One Direction, The Beatles and Ramones t-shirts, which were seized by Tower Hamlets Trading Standards and Joshi was prosecuted.


    On 22 October 2015 Joshi appeared at Thames Magistrates Court and pleaded guilty to the charges.  He was fined £80 for each offence (total £240) and ordered to make a contribution towards costs in the sum of £1,500, plus £20.00 Victim Surcharge.  A Forfeiture and Destruction Order was granted in respect of the items seized.


    read more
    by dave

Surelock is a member of the Association of British Investigators (ABI)

  • October 26, 2015
  • Association of British Investigators Logo

    Surelock’s Directors and Investigators are members of the Association of British Investigators.

    By being accredited members of the ABI, this demonstrates that Surelock:



     Has passed an in-depth screening process showing compliance with respect to:

    ✓ Criminality
    ✓ Probity
    ✓ Character
    ✓ Professional Standing
    ✓ Competency
    and also that Surelock
    ✓ Has been notified and are compliant with the Data Protection Act
    ✓ Is covered by professional indemnity insurance
    ✓ Conforms to an industry leading code of practice

    ABI are endorsed by The Law Society and Law Society of Scotland.

    read more
    by Alex

Three in Plymouth Court Accused of Selling Fake One Direction Clothes

  • October 25, 2015
  • Kenneth Colley, aged 42, Jason Ross, aged 45 and Anna Strzelecka, aged 39, all stand jointly charged of selling clothing between July 1 2009 and July 12, 2012 which bore trademarked images and of concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct, namely cash between the same dates.

    In addition, Colley and Strzelecka are also charged with possessing a printing unit – namely a Coolemaster computer tower and printers – specifically designed to label clothing with a registered trade mark; creating clothing with a registered trade mark and possessing clothing bearing a false trade mark with a view to selling the goods.

    Colley and Strzelecka from Plymouth and Ross from Newquay offered no plea to the charges.

    Prosecutor Julia Cox, on behalf of Plymouth City Council’s Trading Standards department, said the three were accused of being involved in a “large commercial enterprise” involving trademarks including One Direction and Boy London being printed on to clothes for sale via eBbay.

    She said the case involved profits “in excess of £150,000” and “close to £180,000”.

    Magistrates released all three on unconditional bail to attend Plymouth Crown Court on November 16 for a preliminary hearing and a plea and case management hearing on February 1, 2016.


    read more
    by dave

20% of Cybercrime Victims Think They Were Specifically Targeted

  • October 22, 2015
  • Get-Safe-Online-WeekAction Fraud is supporting Get Safe Online Week 2015 (19th to 24th October) which aims to educate, inform and raise awareness of online security issues to make sure individuals and small businesses use the internet safely and confidently.

    In a specially commissioned survey for Get Safe Online Week over one in five (21%) victims of a cybercrime believe they were specifically targeted by fraudsters and over a third (37%) had been left feeling vulnerable as a result. Only 38% of the victims believed that the incident was down to bad luck and over half (57%) think it’s becoming much easier to fall victim to an online crime.

    It’s always personal

    The Get Safe Online survey went on to show that over a quarter of victims (26%) had been scammed by phishing emails or ‘vishing’ phone calls. These are a much more targeted type of scam where the fraudster uses data about the victim pieced together from various sources such as social media and intercepted correspondence to sound convincing, and manipulates them into sharing confidential information linked to online accounts.

    Other areas where victims were targeted include:

    • Fake tax rebate emails (13%)
    • Phone/tablet/laptop hacking (9%)
    • Identity theft (5%)
    • Cyber bullying or harassment (4%)
    • Personal images stolen via webcam hacking (1%).

    The financial cost of a crime

    41% of people who have been a victim of a cybercrime lost money with the average person losing £738. Men, however, are likely to lose significantly more, with the average loss being £839 compared to £617 for women. Shockingly, 8% stated they had lost in excess of £5,000.
    [1] Survey of 2,000 people by OnePoll

    Separate figures, prepared by the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) for Get Safe Online Week, give an indication to the sheer scale of online crime, with over £268 million lost nationwide to the top ten internet‐enabled frauds reported between 1st September 2014 and 31st August 2015. The £268 million number comes from reports of fraud to Action Fraud, calculated when the first contact to victims was via an online function.

    However, as a significant number of internet‐enabled fraud cases still go unreported the true economic cost to the UK is likely to be significantly higher. According to the survey, almost one in five (19%) don’t bother reporting a cybercrime.

    Rising awareness of cyber crime

    The survey also indicates that the public are more aware of the risk of cybercrime; 30% of those surveyed think they know more about online safety now compared to a year ago and a further 21% say they know more than they did two years ago.

    High profile data breaches in the news have also made people more cautious about their behaviour online, with the majority (64%) of the public being more cautious about sharing their personal data with companies. However, women are much more cautious (69%) compared to just 60% of men. 23% claimed it was specifically the Carphone Warehouse breach, 22% said they were most worried following the rise in scams in the wake of the pension reforms earlier in the year, 18% cited the Apple iTunes email scam and 17% stated the Talk Talk,  and Ashley Madison data hacks respectively.

    What aren’t we doing to keep ourselves safe?

    Despite concerns about cybercrimes being front of mind, the survey indicates that people are still struggling with basic safety precautions. Almost two thirds (65%) claim they could do more to stay safe online. Almost a quarter (22%) aren’t conscious about using strong passwords, 13% still have public social media accounts and one in 10 don’t bother using security software on their connected devices.

    Tony Neate, Chief Executive of Get Safe Online, comments: “As we spend more of our lives online, our digital footprints inevitably get bigger. Sadly, that means opportunist fraudsters will use information about us to make their scams more believable and difficult to detect. Being online offers so many great opportunities for everyone and we would never discourage anyone from enjoying and benefiting from them. However, we do urge people to take precautions so they don’t make themselves vulnerable to underhanded scammers.

    There are simple steps we can all take to protect ourselves online, including putting a password on any of your connected devices such as your phone or tablet, using the highest security settings on your social media accounts and never disclosing your confidential details when you are contacted by an email or on the phone, a legitimate organisation would never ask you to do this.

    The results of our survey show that cybercrime is getting much more personal so this Get Safe Online week we’re calling for people to be aware of this and take the small steps to keep themselves safe. Don’t let the criminals win!”

    Cashing in online

    Acting Superintendent, Matt Bradford, Head of the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau at the City of London Police said: “Fraudsters are cashing‐in online and are using the internet to commit crimes which they would never have been able to execute in previous decades.

    “As this type of offending continues to increase and the internet becomes a playground for criminals, it is important that members of the public do everything they can to stop themselves becoming a victim of fraud and cybercrime.

    “We urge everyone to think about their online behaviour and ensure that they do everything they can to protect themselves. Simple measures such as limiting the amount of personal information shared on social media platforms and the use of anti‐virus software can help to prevent online crime.

    The internet is an excellent place to shop, work and play, don’t let cyber criminals stop you from enjoying spending time online”.

    Who you need to speak to

    • If you think you have been a victim of cyber‐enabled economic fraud (i.e. where you have lost money) you should report it to Action Fraud by calling 0300 123 20 40 or by using the online reporting tool.
    • If you are a victim of online abuse or harassment, you should report it to your local police force.
    • For general advice on how to stay safe online go to www.GetSafeOnline.org

    read more
    by dave

eBay Seller Jailed for Selling £220,000 of Counterfeit Designer T-Shirts

  • October 16, 2015
  • Surelock assisted in this case by providing authentication evidence on behalf of numerous music artists merchandisers, working together as TRAP.

    Barry Wayne Pritchard of Cae Gabriel, Penycae near Wrexham has been jailed for 18 months after selling around £220,000 worth of counterfeit designer t-shirts on eBay over six years.  Pritchard was sentenced on the basis that he made £120,000 out of the illegal enterprise.

    He had been warned by trading standard officials about his activities but he continued to trade even when he was on bail after his arrest.

    At an earlier appearance at Mold Crown Court he admitted tradesmarks offences and was convicted by a jury of fraud offences and participating in a fraudulent business.

    Now an investigation under The Proceeds of Crime Act is to take place.

    Wrexham Trading Standards said he sold JLS, Grease, Elma Fudd, Top Gun, Pingu, Led Zepplin and Stone Roses t-shirts as genuine and Vauxhall baby grows.

    The defendant was convicted of possessing a printing press, a garment printer and a computer and its software in connection with the fraud.

    Full story: http://www.itv.com/news/wales/2015-10-15/ebay-seller-jailed-for-trading-220-000-worth-of-counterfeit-t-shirts-over-six-years/


    read more
    by dave

Has the Crime Rate in England and Wales Really Doubled?

  • At first glance it would appear that the crime rate in England and Wales has doubled, looking at the headline figures in the latest Crime Survey published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).  However,  the figures now include an estimate of fraud for the first time, based on its Crime Survey.  There were also 2.5 million cyber crime offences, such as computer hacking, the ONS estimated.  Using these new criteria the crime rate for England and Wales has doubled to more than 11.6m offences.

    The Crime Survey indicated an 8% fall in crimes it covers. Separate data, based on reports to police, shows an overall rise in offending of 5%.

    Official figures are drawn from two sources:

    • The Crime Survey of England and Wales (CSEW) – based on how many people say they have been the victim of a crime
    • Police figures – based on reports of crime to police

    The two sets of figures have been published together for many years to give a more rounded impression of crime levels.

    The police figures suggest a 25% increase in violence, with murders at their highest level for four years.

    In the 12 months to the end of June there were 569 homicides, up 44 on the same period the year before.

    An ONS spokesman said: “Although we estimate that there were more than seven million fraud and computer misuse incidents in the past year, this does not necessarily imply a recent rise in crime as the new measures bring into scope a large volume of offences not previously included in the Crime Survey.”

    He added: “These new estimates should be seen in the context of a reduction over the past 20 years in the more traditional forms of crime, from 19 million incidents a year in 1995 to under seven million a year today.”

    For more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34538183

    read more
    by dave

A Look At Some of the UK’s Most Devious Scams in Recent History

  • Man with fingers crossed, possibly not to be trustedIt is easy to dismiss scams as something which happen to other people; most notably we consider the elderly to be vulnerable to the despicable wiles of the conman, or maybe we think only those considered ‘less than worldly’ will be duped. However, recent reports show that none of us are immune to the attentions of such tricksters, with professional individuals and even some major companies falling victim to tricksters. Many types of scams are in operation and, sad to say, clever crooks are never beyond devising more ways to part the unsuspecting from their money.  However, a little knowledge can increase our ability to be aware of these crimes and following some basic points can help to protect us from their impact.


    Although we may consider ourselves to be secure as we electronically encode and encrypt our finances, in truth we are only as strong as the weakest link in our defences. A phone call from fraudsters claiming to be ‘your bank’ may persuade you that your account is under threat from unscrupulous individuals and encourage you to disclose information in order to protect your interests. Some may be caught out at this point and give details enabling the con artist to access funds, but others may insist that they phone the bank back to establish its true identity. Unfortunately, this is not the water-tight solution it might be considered; if the victim hangs up and the fraudster doesn’t, the link between the two parties will remain in place when the phone is picked up again, allowing the fraudster to continue with the victim who is under the false impression that they have telephoned their own bank. A solicitor taken in by a scam of this nature leading to the loss of thousands of pounds worth of clients’ funds (referred to as vishing), is now bankrupt and has been suspended from her career. Similar tactics were employed by criminals posing as the police who stole thousands of pounds from mainly elderly people in the London area over a ten week period; they have since been jailed. It is worth remembering that banks and the police will never ask for PIN numbers or passwords, and if you need to telephone a bank or police department to confirm their identity, use a different phone line or mobile to make the call.

    Dating Scams

    Being a victim of a scam often leads the victim feeling hurt and humiliated; this is especially true when it relates to a particularly personal situation such as online dating. This increasingly popular method of meeting others is unfortunately readily exploited by criminals. For example, in July 2015, a conman who posed as a U.S. soldier on a dating site, scamming more than £250,000 out of two women, was sentenced for four and a half years. Security groups, including the police, suggest that those using dating sites refrain from sharing too much personal information and never divulge bank details. They recommend that users are vigilant regarding contacts who readily give them a pet nickname (it’s a one-name-fits-all tactic that will keep things simple when duping a string of individuals). They also stress the need to be wary of those with ‘supermodel’ looks who quickly try to guide individuals away from the website towards a more private (and less scrutinized) method of contact.

    Fake ID Scams and Impersonation Fraud

    Jewellers were also targeted in a crime spree where personal identities were stolen and used to secure finance deals relating to prestigious watches. The thieves were apprehended by security staff and arrested by the police. This is yet another reminder to be vigilant in the use and disposal of personal information; even the humble utility bill is a way in for the criminally-minded. Surelock Global Investigators and Security Consultants have a dedicated surveillance team who supply vital information to the authorities which assists in identifying premises targeted in numerous enforcements.

    Another case of impersonation involving computer hackers pretending to be from Microsoft was reported by the Gloucestershire Echo. Eleven incidents (in Gloucestershire alone) were reported to police in the 12 months leading up to July 2014. The fraudsters cold-called their victims, maintaining that there was a serious problem with their computer. This led to the victims paying large sums of money or giving the criminals access to their computers and bank accounts.

    A couple escaped losing their savings when they became suspicious about a company who approached them regarding their pension plan after they had searched for information about pensions online. The bogus company claimed to be representatives of the Government’s Pension Wise scheme.  A spokesman from Pension Wise stressed that they would never cold-call anyone, and would only respond to a direct inquiry. Suffice to say, it is sensible to never disclose personal information to callers on the phone, via email or in person.

    Bogus Refund Fraud

    A clever scam whereby a fraudster bought items twice from different branches of a store, returning them on both occasions, but only presenting the receipts on the second occasion (claiming loss of receipts on the first), thus being refunded twice, took place between May 2013 and December 2014. Bogus Refund fraud can also take the form of claiming ownership of a more expensive item and swapping for a lower priced item (with the difference being refunded), but where the highest priced item has actually just been stolen. Here is an example case to illustrate this. This is a warning to store managers and shop assistants who should be made aware of such tactics.

    The Cheap Carbon Credits Scam

    Examples are continually cropping up of carbon credits forming the basis of increasingly devious scams. These scams involve passing off cheap carbon credit certificates as high-values ones. The fraudsters try and justify the high prices (sometimes thousands of pounds) by claiming they are linked to environmentally friendly projects.

    Courier Fraud

    Courier scam starts off being similar to vishing (as reported above) whereby criminals contact victims claiming their bank accounts have been subject to fraud, but they go on to persuade the victim to key in or read out their PIN number. This then escalates into sending a taxi or courier around (hence the name of the scam) to collect the bank card and thus gaining full access to the victim’s money. The Evening Standard reported on two “cruel and cunning” fraudsters who used the courier scam tactic, conning elderly people out of large sums of money, even going as far as to scam an elderly person attending a funeral.

    The public are becoming increasingly wary of many kinds of scam. Luckily, organisations such as Action Fraud exist to whom crimes can be reported and also serve to inform the general public. However, on the other side of the coin, criminals remain at large and changes in technology give rise to new types of scam being devised, albeit that technology also advances in unison with that to provide protection. It is also a well-known fact that cyber-crime is becoming increasingly a significant threat, especially to businesses and organisations.

    Surelock Global Investigators and Security Consultants are well positioned to advise, investigate and protect in respect of all kinds of threats and fraud

    read more
    by Alex

TRAP seizes £10m of counterfeit goods

  • October 3, 2015
  • Body has also had over 100,000 listings removed from Amazon.

    A group of rights holders and merchandisers are upping the ante in their campaign to stop the selling of unofficial product – and has already seized over £10 million of counterfeit licensed goods.

    Traders and Rights Holders Against Piracy (TRAP) is a worldwide collective of rights holders and publishers working with the biggest names in music, film, TV, art and sport. Through lobbying and direct action, TRAP is aiming to protect the public from buying counterfeit products, while enabling musicians, artists, actors and athletes to provide fans with official merchandise.

    Members include Bravado, CID, Danilo, GB eye, Firebrand, Global Merchandising Services, Live Nation, Pyramid, Rock Off and Sandbag, while the organisation also has links with global investigators and security consultants to ensure it can carry out undercover surveillance to identify and destroy bootleg product.

    So far, working with industry experts and local authorities, TRAP has been responsible for assisting in the seizure of over £10 million worth of counterfeit goods, with offenders convicted and receiving prison sentences.

    The body also has a dedicated online team removing illegal product from website and has notched up some significant results. It has had 100,000+ listings removed from Amazon, 50,000+ from eBay, 20,000+ from Etsy and 5,000+ from Redbubble.

    “Bootleg and unofficial merchandise is a serious issue that affects all rights holders, official merchandisers and the artists themselves,” said TRAP spokesperson, Alex Mitchell. “These acts have worked hard to establish themselves as part of popular culture and for someone to produce merchandise without permission not only takes away a key financial income but also creative control. There are wider implications as manufacturing is often not regulated and income on the money involved not accounted for in the appropriate way. TRAP looks to stop this.

    Alex continued: “TRAP has come together to take a stand against bootleg and unofficial product. Its members are in some instances competitors but with the common goal of eradicating, or at least reducing, the bootleg market. This joint effort is a non-profit organisation and over the last year TRAP has made real strides in effectively limiting the numbers of unofficial product in both physical retail and online with bigger plans and results expected over the next 12 months.

    “TRAP has been involved in removing millions of pounds of product from the market and the resulting cases have seen sizable fines and even prison sentences ordered by judges across the UK.”

    By Samantha Loveday
    October 2, 2015


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    by dave