Global Investigators & Security Consultants
0333 6000 300


Another really excellent result by the SURELOCK team working with West Yorkshire Trading Standards in 2016 and sentenced today

The Hacker News – Phishing Warning!

private investigation

Who can justify a private investigator’s invoice in the company accounts?

  • 3:14 pm
  • This has not been a problem for our clients in the past and we certainly hope it will not be in the future. A few or many hours of work, depending on the scenario and the outcome we expect to achieve, can make a huge difference to your company. There is absolutely no need to justify using a private investigator.

    Quoting a recent case

    A product sold in a counterfeit form suggesting danger. The company contacted Surelock and hired our services.

    We gained the necessary evidence to place into the hands of their intellectual property lawyers.

    Our bonus

    One up against the counterfeiters; and saving a company from being another statistic.

    Companies and household names use our services. A private investigation company has much talent. Sometimes just being able to prove that a company is doing something right can make a difference one day when that wheel comes off.  If we get asked to achieve the impossible we are honest, if something can’t be done, it can’t be done. We won’t take your money and then tell you!

    Invoices can be as detailed as you like, clients already know our value.

    read more
    by carol

Brand Licensing Europe

  • 1:39 pm
  • Surelock are attending Brand Licensing Europe, London Olympia on 11 October 2017, if you are experiencing problems with counterfeits and need help with brand protection / anti-counterfeit investigations please do not hesitate to make contact.



    read more
    by carol

From The Intellectual Property Office in their 2016/17 Crime Report

  • 2:44 pm
  • The Intellectual Property Office in their 2016/17 Crime Report brings together the key partners who are protecting our businesses and consumers against criminality. The IP crime protection community represents a blending of government, law-enforcers, trade and industry groups and individual companies. Their report provides an insight into the work of the IP crime fighters, from local initiatives against street traders in Manchester, to complex multi-agency initiatives like Operation Jasper, to the development of effective legal remedies against IP crime through the courts.

    The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Specialist Fraud Division (SFD) prosecutes the majority of intellectual property crimes. Whilst CPS areas retain responsibility for a small number of cases, SFD are particularly responsible for the most complex cases. The SFD have a great deal of experience in prosecuting a wide range of cases and are fully equipped to prosecute those that are more complex. SFD continue to work closely with the specialist Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) in the City of London Police to make sure that the CPS is fully prepared for these cases and that there is  a consistent and co-ordinated approach going forward.

    One of the successful prosecutions was of Re Meraj Gul and Others. In July 2014 the City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) received a report of crime from Surelock International Limited (Surelock). Surelock are security consultants and investigators who are authorised to conduct investigations on behalf of music merchandising companies who hold the trade mark rights of various music artists and record labels.

    Surelock identified that merchandising comprising of hooded tops, sweaters, t-shirts, vest tops and hats had been sold through the online auction site, eBay by a number of eBay sellers without the consent or authorisation of the genuine rights holder for each of the articles being infringed.

    The proceeds of sale were received into PayPal accounts. Once money was deposited into the PayPal accounts it was withdrawn and transferred to personal bank accounts belonging to the sellers.

    Between 1 March 2012 and 2 January 2014, Surelock made five test purchases from three eBay accounts which were identified as being used to sell merchandising.

    Enquiries were made of eBay and PayPal and as a result suspicion centred on Meraj Gul and others who allowed their accounts to be used to receive funds received via PayPal.

    On 3 February 2015 the accused were arrested. A small annex was also discovered at a property which was being used for the production of branded clothing items.

     Seized items from this address comprised of electronic items, CCTV equipment, branded and non-branded clothing, documentation relating to the sale and supply of branded clothing, packaging materials, production machinery and vinyl transfers used to produce goods

    The various companies have confirmed that neither the accused nor Gul Enterprises Ltd had permission to sell their goods. In total Meraj Gul received £131,382 from PayPal into accounts  in his name.

    Meraj Gul pleaded guilty to a substantive offence contrary to section 92(1) (b) of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

    He accepted that his co-defendants were just acting on his instructions.

    In the circumstances it was decided to proceed solely against Meraj Gul.

    On 2 June 2017 he was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and confiscation proceedings were instituted.

    For copy of the full report please follow the link below

    read more
    by carol

Search Engines to ‘Demote’ Pirate Websites

Peterborough Car Boot Trader Sentenced for Fake Goods

  • 12:15 pm
  • A man has been sentenced to 100 hours community service after pleading guilty to selling thousands of pounds worth of fake designer goods at the Peterborough weekly ‘Bizzy Boot’ sale.

    Mohammed Imran Malik had admitted to seven offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 relating to the sale and supply of counterfeit items at the Wellington Street car park weekly car boot sale.

    The sentencing on Tuesday (7 February) at Peterborough Crown Court follows an investigation by Peterborough City Council trading standards officers in July last year. This led to the seizure of around £12,000 worth of counterfeit items including Nike trainers, Dior perfumes, Lacoste polo shirts and Ralph Lauren polo shirts.

    The city council is now seeking a Proceeds of Crime Award against Malik, 26, of Star Road, Peterborough which will review the financial aspects of the case and could result in the dissemination of any proceeds between the police and council.

    Mr Malik selling fake designer goods at the Bizzy Boot sale


    All counterfeit clothing is being passed to the Police National Aid Convoy to use in their work delivering emergency aid to disaster areas throughout the world.

    Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities and environmental capital, said: “This investigation is a great example of joint working by Peterborough City Council and the local community and we will continue to work with the public, brand holders, local traders and our enforcement partners to ensure that we stamp out these illegal ‘business practices’.

    “The sale of fake goods is not only damaging to the brand owners, but also to the legitimate Peterborough businesses who are trading fairly but being undercut by those who think it is fine to sell counterfeit goods.”

    A spokesman for Surelock Brand Protection Services, brand protection representatives for a number of household companies, said: “People should be aware that by purchasing counterfeit goods you are receiving an inferior quality product, each sale has a detrimental effect on the livelihoods of genuine local traders and you are also helping fund criminal organisations. We applaud the actions of Peterborough Trading Standards in clamping down on the sale of goods which infringe intellectual property rights.”

    Residents who have information on counterfeiting activity within Peterborough can call Citizens Advice on 03454 040506 on can pass on details by emailing Trading Standards.

    read more
    by dave

We Have Been Granted Corporate Membership of ABI, The Association of British Investigators

  • 3:59 pm
  • orporate Members of ABI
    Proud Corporate Members of ABI

    We are proud to announce that we have been granted Corporate membership of The Association of British Investigators. This means so much to us as it is further recognition of how we continually strive for excellence, the highest level of professionalism and ethical standing.

    This achievement complements other memberships of the Surelock team, which include the Association of Security Consultants (ASC), the Institute of Counter Fraud Specialists (ICFS), the Ex-Police in Industry and Commerce Integrity Assured (EPIC) and the Institute of Professional Investigators (IPI).

    View our certificate.

    About the ABI

    With origins dating back to 1913, the Association of British Investigators is now recognised as the premiere professional body for private investigators working in the United Kingdom. Throughout its long history, the ABI has worked hard to improve the standing and reputation of the investigative professional.

    read more
    by Alex

Bizarre Stories of Infidelity

  • 4:13 pm
  • lipstick on collar - sign of infidelityEverybody likes to believe that their partner would never cheat on them, and that it’s a scenario that they’re only going to encounter in films like What’s New Pussycat and Lady Chatterley’s Lover. But in reality, a substantial number of couples will experience one or both partners cheating. According to a recent survey, Thailand and Denmark boast the dubious achievement of being the most adulterous countries in the world (surprisingly, they’re above the famously faithless Italians and French). But in spite of its frequency, adultery isn’t always mundane, and there are some extraordinary true stories of extramarital shenanigans that will astonish you!

    Caught out by Pokémon Go

    The most popular craze of 2016 had to be Pokemon Go, a hunt that had people of all ages out and about attempting to capture these digital creatures. But this apparently innocuous pursuit had unforeseen consequences for New Yorker Evan Scribner, when his current girlfriend spotted that her cheating partner had been hunting Pokemon at her predecessor’s house – somewhere he had no good reason to be. The problem for Evan is that Pokemon Go keeps track of your movements; smartphones and technology may have enabled many adulterers to get away with infidelity, but it also makes them a good deal easier to track. So even an apparently innocent pastime like hunting Pokemon could provide partners with a massive clue as to what their other half’s have been up to!

    Watch the Birdie

    But it’s not just technology that can give people away; the family pet can inadvertently drop cheater’s deep in trouble as well. A Kuwaiti husband was outed as unfaithful thanks to the verbal skills of his pet parrot, who repeated romantic phrases the man had used to the couple’s housemaid. The married lothario had forgotten that in his country, adultery is against the law, and he could have faced serious punishment. Fortunately for him, the bird was not considered a credible witness, as it could not be proven that the man was the source of the amorous vocabulary (it was considered a possibility that the bird may have learned the phrases from listening to TV shows). But it’s fair to assume that even the law let him off, his wife did not – and that the maid found herself out of a job.

    Virtual Unreality

    The “other person” in an adulterous relationship isn’t always a person, however. It can be a pet that one partner cares more about, a hobby that they devote all their time to – or even a video game. One wife may have thought that she was giving her husband a thoughtful gift when she presented him with World of Warcraft, but she soon discovered what many other partners have found out – that the game can quickly become addictive. Her husband became so involved with playing WoW that he stopped spending time and energy on his marriage, and the marriage was over long before the game was. One wonders if she ended up demanding custody of the game just to spite him …

    Cheating Marathon

    Sometimes, the surprise is not that someone was unfaithful, but the number of times they played away from home. After all, the more one cheats, the greater the likelihood of being discovered. One British man clocked up a massive 23 affairs over two decades of marriage, the first time being when his wife was expecting their first child. Astonishingly, when she finally found out about his cheating and the number of women he had slept with, she chose to forgive him and work on their marriage. For most of us, once could possibly be forgiven, but cheating with at least 23 women (indeed, this particular man wasn’t entirely unsure that there weren’t more) is 22 women too many.

    Aliens in the Attic

    Adultery, of course, has been going on since marriage was invented, and although you may conveniently forget that your parents’ or grandparents’ generation ever enjoyed a sex life that quite clearly isn’t true. And in the 1930s, one woman in the US went to extraordinary lengths to indulge her adulterous desires. To compensate for her unsatisfactory marriage, she installed her lover in the attic of the marital home so that she could keep him close by. Her thinking was that as her husband never went up there, she could indulge her desires whenever she wished. She even insisted that when they moved, they chose a new house with an attic, so that she could pack her lover along with the furniture. The liaison ended tragically after a number of successful years of subterfuge, when the lover shot the husband dead during a violent row between husband and wife. Indeed, the unfaithful woman’s claim that he was murdered by a burglar was initially accepted, though eventually she made mistakes that implicated her and her lover in the murder. However, as by then too many years had passed, both partners went free.

    Crime Doesn’t Pay

    Modern lovers often choose to record a home tape of their activities as a way of reliving the fun. However, these recordings can easily be shared and posted online on sites like Pornhub, leading many to regret ever making them. It also creates a risk of being blackmailed in order to keep the videos secret. A Houston woman stumbled across a tape made by her husband and his lover, and promptly threatened him with exposing the tape to his employers and his lover’s husband if he didn’t pay her a substantial sum. Once she received the money, however, she didn’t keep her side of the bargain, and responded by handing over the tape to the other woman’s husband as well as to her own husband’s employers (a Christian high school who would presumably take a dim view of his extramarital escapades). The result was the end of the marriage, and misdemeanour charges for the aggrieved wife.

    Hidden in Plain Sight

    Some adulterers choose to hide their activities in plain sight, and go to great lengths to convince their spouse that he or she is imagining their suspicions. They manipulate their partner so that they begin to mistrust their own feelings and make them think that they are really the one at fault for being suspicious. They accuse the innocent partner of not trusting them, and make every effort to place the blame on them for any problems in the marriage. This behaviour is called ‘gaslighting’ after the 1944 film with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer, in which a husband guilty of murder tries to convince his wife that she is insane. Such tactics are psychological manipulation, and often succeed in making the innocent party feel that they are the one at fault.

    The sad fact is that if you feel suspicious of your partner, there is usually very good reason why you feel that way. It’s wise to listen to your instincts and trust your feelings. You may choose to investigate your suspicions, though you should always be prepared for an outcome you don’t want to deal with – that your suspicions have a good foundation. But it is to be hoped that if you discover the worst, at least you won’t experience a story like these bizarre tales of adultery.

    Advice if you have any Suspicions

    Surelock have a number of dedicated and experienced surveillance teams strategically placed all over UK, and have undertaken numerous infidelity cases, where the cheating partner has been observed meeting another person. We covertly video record and complete a detailed log of the observation, which is evidenced and supplied to the client or the lawyer acting on their behalf. This evidence can be given in court or any other proceedings. Where a partner has suspicions and referred a case to us, over 95% of these cases have proved to substantiate their original fears. If you would like to discuss any suspicions in confidence please do not hesitate to call our office and speak to a member of our staff and we can advise you on a course of action.

    read more
    by Alex

How to Be Aware and Avoid Buying Counterfeit Goods

  • 12:30 pm
  • 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 and 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 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 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!

    read more
    by Alex