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November 2015 - Surelock
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Monthly Archives: November 2015

£250,000 Fake Clothing Conman Loses Appeal

  • November 27, 2015
  • A fraudster who sold £250,000 worth of fake T-shirts to buyers across the world from his garage in Stourbridge has been told by top judges that his two-year jail term was fully deserved.

    Ian Guy, aged 38, was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court on May 27 after he admitted fraudulent trading and six trademark offences.

    Guy was also ordered to pay back £130,000 of his ill-gotten gains which he has now done.

    The father-of-three ran a business called Guy Tees selling counterfeit clothing on eBay out of his garage, Mr Justice Kerr told London’s Appeal Court.

    Ian Guy

    The fake goods were sold all around the UK and Europe and as far afield as Australia, Russia and North and South America despite repeated warnings by trademark holders to halt his illegal activities.

    Analysis of his computer equipment disclosed 2,500 files of trademark images and details of over 300 T-shirts and hoodies together with links to the state of the art printers that copied the counterfeit images on to blank clothing.

    The fake T-shirts bore protected names including Porsche, Yamaha, The Beatles, The Ramones, Harry Potter and Call of Duty with the potential loss to trademark holders of £500,000.

    Sending him to prison last May Judge Martin Walsh had told him: “This business undermined the integrity of legitimate commercial practice. It was significant in scale, displayed a high degree of professionalism but was run from your garage.”

    The judge also ordered Guy to repay £130,000 within six months or face a further two years in jail and pay £18,500 costs to Dudley Council.

    At the Appeal Court on Tuesday, Gurdeep Garcha, for Guy, said he had no previous convictions, had a young family and had made ‘good progress’ in custody.

    Mr Justice Kerr, who was sitting with Lord Justice Treacy and Mrs Justice Carr, said they had ‘considered the submissions with care’ but ‘we find ourselves unable to accept them’.

    Dismissing the appeal, he said Guy’s punishment was neither wrong in principle, nor manifestly excessive.

    Full story: http://www.expressandstar.com/news/local-news/2015/11/26/250000-fake-clothing-conman-loses-appeal/imgid16827067/

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    by Alex

Surelock Supports Major Anti-Counterfeiting Operation in Camden

  • November 23, 2015
  • On Friday 19 November 2015, following reconnaissances made by Surelock,  we together with other ACG members, assisted Camden Trading Standards carry out a major anti-counterfeit operation on three targeted retail stores in Camden High Street selling counterfeit merchandise.

    More than 4,000 music branded teeshirts & sweatshirts were seized including One Direction, 5 SOS, Motorhead, Arctic Monkeys, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Greenday, Sex Pistols, Guns n Roses, Stone Roses and Metallica. We also seized a number of caps/hats including NFL & NBA, Hublot watches, large amounts of counterfeit mobile phone covers, and Clipper style stash lighters.

     Camden raid van IMAG0335#001

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    by Alex

Surelock Supports Intensive Anti-Counterfeiting Raids in Central London

  • November 21, 2015
  • Surelock and other ACG members have been working with Westminster Trading Standards and a large Police support team in two days of intensive anti-counterfeit actions.  Nine retail outlets in and around the Leicester Square area were raided and thousands of pieces of counterfeit merchandise were seized.

    Central London Raids


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    by Alex

What is Mandate Fraud? Spread the word…

  • November 14, 2015
  • Whether you call it invoice fraud, mandate fraud or direct debit fraud it is a huge problem. Hundreds of thousands of pounds are being lost every month to this simple and easily preventable fraud.



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    by Alex

How to Be Aware and Avoid Buying Counterfeit Goods

  • November 13, 2015
  • A sign pointing to 'genuine fake' goods
    Look out for the signs!

    Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations (2008), traders are not allowed to pass off their goods as another product. This includes counterfeit goods – fake items deliberately made to look genuine. These are often of lower quality than the original and some could even present a health hazard. There are no cast iron guarantees, but consumers can take a number of steps to protect themselves against inadvertently buying fake goods. Be a savvy consumer – know your rights, know the signs of fake goods, and know what to do if you think you have been a victim.

    Which goods can be Faked?
    Pretty much anything. Fake goods can include medicines, clothing, jewellery, watches, sunglasses, accessories, perfume, make-up, skincare products, CDs, DVDs, software, video games, vehicle parts, power tools, white goods, and even potentially dangerous items like alcohol, tobacco and fireworks.
    Brands take great care to protect their trademarks, but nonetheless fake branded goods and pirate CDs, DVDs, software and games are common. Many people are familiar with grainy, disappointingly-recorded pirate movies, but counterfeit goods in general are unlikely to be of the same high quality as the genuine article. For example, Ray-ban sunglasses usually have strengthening metal struts inside the arms, glass lenses and a smoothly moulded construction. Fake Ray-bans often lack one or more of these features, meaning that they are of inferior quality and may not even look very convincing. Is it really worth lining criminals’ pockets for the sake of a badly imitated trademark?
    Illicit cigarettes and tobacco are common in the UK. Fake tobacco – cheap, low quality tobacco repackaged to imitate a genuine brand – could present a real health risk since it is unregulated. This means the contents, including tar and nicotine levels, are unknown.
    In the UK it is illegal to produce alcohol for sale without a licence. Legal drinks contain ethanol, which is safe in small quantities. Unregulated alcohol may contain cheaper, more dangerous alternatives such as methanol, cleaning fluids and nail varnish remover – all of which lead to a feeling of drunkenness but can have serious consequences for your health.
    Derbyshire’s Burton Mail reports that in 2014 Trading Standards seized 10,000 tonnes of fake fireworks across the UK. It is illegal to sell fireworks without a licence, and even licenced retailers are inspected regularly in the run-up to Bonfire Night. Stay safe on November 5th – avoid buying fireworks from unusual sources like residential properties, car boot sales and vehicles.
    Where are Counterfeit Goods Sold?
    Criminals may operate from off-high-street places such as car parks, markets and car boot sales, but seemingly legitimate shops may also be knowingly selling counterfeit goods. In October 2015, two shops were closed down in Kent when it was revealed that they were dealing almost exclusively in fake tobacco. A shop or stall may look legitimate, but that is no guarantee.
    Many shoppers in search of bargains turn to online retailers. Look for the signs of potentially fake goods, following the golden rules outlined in the next section. Be very wary of entering your payment details into websites that you suspect may be selling fake goods. Is it really worth playing into a criminal’s hands just for the sake of a cheap deal?
    Top Tips to Avoid Buying Fake Goods
    1. Check the price. If it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Check the price of the item you are shopping for and if you find retailers selling far below this price, the goods could be fake.
    2. Shop around. If in doubt, check the item against well-known high-street retailers or the manufacturer’s website. Do the trademark, price and item features match? If not, maybe you are looking at a fake.
    3. If you are confronted with something you think is fake in a shop or street market, unobtrusively inspect the item. Websites like wikihow.com and visihow.com have written guides on how to recognise counterfeit merchandise, and there are many youtube videos demonstrating this for specific products too. Make sure the guide you are using is reputable.
    4. Ask for a receipt. Before purchasing an item, ensure that the retailer is going to give you a receipt.
    5. Check the company is legitimate. Check HMRC’s list of all registered companies here https://www.gov.uk/get-information-about-a-company. Sole traders are not obligated to provide this information, however.
    6. Scan the barcode using your smartphone. Several free apps will enable you to scan the code and reveal whether it is real and correct for the product.
    7. When buying tobacco, look for the UK Duty Paid label. Fake tobacco may have spelling or printing errors on the packet. Similar rules of thumb apply for fake alcohol – do the labels look properly printed, cut and stuck to the bottle? Do all bottles have the same fill level? Is the cap properly sealed?
    Bought a Fake? Report It!
    If you believe you have purchased a fake item, help protect other consumers by reporting it to Crimestoppers at crimestoppers-uk.org or call 0800 555 111. You can remain anonymous.
    To alert Trading Standards, call the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 08454 040506. Citizens Advice has an agreement with Trading Standards and will help you report the issue.
    If the goods were bought online, you can also report the website or seller to Brand-i, which keeps a database of all online sellers stocking genuine branded goods. Online marketplaces like eBay usually have a mechanism for reporting potentially dodgy sellers too. It’s polite to contact the seller first; they could have been duped and not have realised the item was a fake either.
    Always be aware that counterfeit goods exist and may be on sale near you. Fakes may be subtle or obvious, and often there is no surefire way to decide whether what you are buying is real or not. However, consumers can radically reduce their chances of falling victim to fakers by being aware, following the helpful hints in this article, and knowing their rights. Happy shopping!

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    by Alex

UK’s First ‘Fake Shop’ Opens in Yeovil

  • November 3, 2015
  • To mark National Consumer Week, Devon and Somerset Trading Standards has transformed an empty shop on Middle Street into an interactive installation stocking everything from counterfeit clothing and fake perfume to dodgy toys.

    trading-standards-jacket[1]Shrewd shoppers will need to look out to ensure they don’t get scammed. Activities and volunteers will be on hand to expose the truth behind the counterfeit goods trade.

    Councillor David Hall, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards, said: “Selling counterfeit goods is sometimes seen as a ‘victimless’ crime, but this is often far from the truth as fake products can not only endanger your wallet, but also potentially your health.

    “The variety of items in The Fake Shop shows that it’s not just DVDs and clothing that are counterfeited or mis-described. Electronics, food and drink, cosmetics, tools, car parts, jewellery and even fireworks can be cleverly disguised as genuine products when in reality they are cheaper substitutes that are often so poorly made they are unreliable at best, and more worryingly could be very dangerous.

    Read more: http://www.westerngazette.co.uk/UK-s-fake-shop-opens-Yeovil-expose-truth/story-28099514-detail/story.html#ixzz3qPmdNwA6

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    by dave