Global Investigators & Security Consultants
0333 6000 300

Monthly Archives: June 2016

The many risks of buying counterfeit goods and how to avoid them

  • June 27, 2016
  • light build with slogan - stop fakesCounterfeit goods are sold all over the world, and include items like designer clothing, bags, and accessories, perfumes, computer games, cosmetics, watches, children’s toys, and a host of others. Many of these fake goods are sold at markets and fairs, car boot sales, and even in pubs, making it hard to trace the swindler after you have bought from them. While these fake items are most of the time a lot cheaper than the real thing, the majority of them are substandard, potentially dangerous, and many times, even contain toxic substances. Some examples include:

    Children’s toys – Disney toys are extremely popular, and frequently targeted by fraudsters who know that parents will buy them willingly for their children, especially at Christmas time. However, while many parents are excited at getting the current favourite Disney toy for their child, they should avoid buying them at all costs, since they are known to contain high quantities of chemicals called phthalates, which can lead to asthma, cancer, as well as fertility problems such as malformed genitalia in male children, which cause fertility problems later in life. Many counterfeit toys are also made with tiny components, which are a choking hazard for small children.

    Fake alcohol – avoid buying fake alcohol, even though it might seem like a real bargain to you. If it’s not the real thing, there’s a good chance that you will suffer nausea, liver or kidney problems, coma, or even death. This is due to the fact that most of the fake items more than likely contain dangerous substances like antifreeze, fuel, and methanol.

    Christmas lights – people in the UK spend in excess of 90 million pounds on fake goods every year. Part of one of the biggest hauls ever, that was stopped by border staff from entering the country, were about 3000 Christmas lights. Since they were incorrectly insulated, they would have resulted in people being shocked, fires breaking out, and even explosions occurring.

    Cosmetics – countless shoppers are tricked into buying fake cosmetics that are designed to look like top brands, because they imagine these items to be good bargains. Apart from being bamboozled into parting with their hard-earned money, many of the fake products they buy are incredibly dangerous. Even worse, is that some of these replicated products that are available online, at mall kiosks, and flea markets, actually cost in the region of the real thing, which is a ploy to prevent the buyer from becoming suspicious.

    It’s not only fake makeup that is sold however, but also hair care products, as well as accessories such as makeup applicator brushes. Many counterfeit products, according to the authorities, are found to contain beryllium, cadmium, and arsenic, all of which are known cancer-causing chemicals. Some of them have been found to be infected with bacteria, as well as exceedingly high levels of metals like aluminium, which are usually not dangerous at all.

    Perfumes and colognes – serious skin rashes have been caused by some bogus perfumes and colognes, due to urine being one of their ingredients. According to a dermatologist, the unsavoury ingredients used in the manufacture of fake perfumes can cause scaling, acne, dermatitis, and eczema, especially on facial skin.

    Fake clothing such as Halloween and pop-star outfits commonly do not comply to European safety standards. This can impose obvious dangers. It is not long ago that Claudia Winkelman’s daughter suffered serious injuries after a fancy dress costume caught fire.

    There is also indirect danger that results from buying any fake goods. Take counterfeit watches, for example, which are often made in unlicensed and unregulated factories. In these sweatshops, the workers are often working in dangerous conditions e.g. lack of sanitation, extreme heat, rat infestation and a lack of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and first-aid.  And we should not forget the case of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013 when more than 1,100 workers died. So the act of buying these goods contributes heavily towards the support of these illegal and dangerous practices.

    Counterfeit goods are found everywhere, even on well-known online sites like eBay and Amazon. To avoid buying these fake products, and becoming a victim of the dangers they pose, visit our article for some great tips to avoid buying fake goods.

    In addition to offering these helpful tips, Surelock also offers a service for their clients, where they carry out surveillance and covert operations to identify offenders, and confiscate their counterfeit goods, including the ones that are dangerous to consumers.

    read more
    by Alex

Insurers Criticised for Not Pursuing Fraudsters in Ireland

  • June 20, 2016
  • Former Irish High Court president Mr Justice Nicholas Kearns has criticised the State’s loss-making insurers for not seeking the prosecution of people found to have made fraudulent injury claims. When fraud is uncovered in civil cases, typically the claimant withdraws their claim without any further repercussions, he said, with insurers failing to make a complaint to the Garda, who could investigate and refer to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

    Ireland’s insurance industry has been in a state of turmoil in recent years for a number of reasons. Motor claims have been rising as more cars take to the roads in a recovering economy. Court awards have been increasing. And insurers have been less able to rely on investment income to cushion the blow, as they grapple with record-low global bond yields.

    In an effort to return to profitability, insurers have hiked motor coverage rates by 35 per cent in the year to May, according to the Central Statistics Office, with house insurance rising by almost 10 per cent.

    The main reason for rising court costs, according to David Nolan, a senior barrister and mediator, was an increase in jurisdiction of various courts in 2014, when the maximum circuit court personal injuries award rose from €38,000 to €60,000.

    But there is some light at the end of the tunnel, according to Mr Nolan.

    The Court of Appeal, set up in 2014, has recently begun to slash some of the injury awards that have been granted by the lower courts. A €65,000 High Court award granted by Mr Justice Kevin Cross last year, where the claimant suffered “soft-tissue injuries”, was subsequently cut by more than half on appeal.

    This year, the Court of Appeal almost halved a €120,000 general damages award given by Mr Justice Anthony Barr to a woman who had sustained shoulder, hand and thumb injuries in a car crash. In March, it also cut by 50 per cent a combined €220,000 High Court personal injury award given to a couple who had sustained injuries when their car was hit by another vehicle.

    “At the moment, the messages are very, very strong,” said Mr Nolan. “Judges of the High Court are being told by the Court of Appeal: ‘Moderate your general damages in these cases.’”

    Courtesy of the Irish Times, June 17 2016.

    Full story at

    read more
    by dave

Surelock Supports Further Camden Enforcements

  • On Thursday 16 June 2016, Surelock together with numerous other members of the Anti-Counterfeiting Group assisted officers from Camden Trading Standards to carry out enforcements on a number of retail outlets in Camden High Street selling numerous music artists counterfeits and other counterfeit merchandise.  Two van loads of counterfeits goods were seized. This was a multi-agency intelligence lead operation focussing on the sale of counterfeit goods in the area.


    read more
    by dave

Brandgenuity Grows Gas Monkey Garage in Europe

  • June 9, 2016
  • Surelock has been retained to protect the IP rights of Gas Monkey Garage

    Agency signs three new licensees for automotive brand.


    Brandgenuity has secured three European licensees to help expand the Gas Monkey Garage brand outside of the U.S.

    The brand is inspired by the Dallas, Texas, automotive restoration shop that is featured in the reality TV series “Fast N’ Loud.”

    Gas Monkey Garage’s new licensees include Changes Europe for men’s and women’s apparel; Hybris for men’s and women’s t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, knit beanies, mugs, tablet and mobile phone cases and messenger bags in the U.K. and Ireland; and Phase International for automotive accessories including fluids, car cleaning products, polishes, waxes, windshield wipers and more.

    “Gas Monkey Garage is a brand for true car enthusiasts,” says Teri Niadna, managing director, Brandgenuity Europe. “Fans wear their passion for cars on their sleeves, and love to get their hands dirty. Our licensees are designing clothing and gear that lets them do just that.”

    Brandgenuity is Gas Monkey Garage’s exclusive licensing agency in the U.S. and Europe. The agency plans to continue to expand the brand with partners in after-market auto accessories, apparel, gifts, gaming and more.


    read more
    by dave

Video Overview of Surelock’s Investigative and Security Services

  • June 2, 2016
  • Surelock Private Investigators and Security Consultants Video Thumbnail
    Thumbnail for Our New Video

    To all our readers. We recently created a video to give a good and quick overview of the Surelock team and services. We think it serves its purpose very well, that being to provide an alternative way for our clients and prospects to find out about our philosophy, background and the investigative and consultancy services we provide, and all in just a little over 2 minutes. We are planning a direct link from our website. Please also note that we just updated it as the logo showing that we are members of ABI (the Association of British Investigators) recently changed.

    read more
    by Alex