City of London Police knock 2,000 counterfeit good sites offline


The City of London Police has shut down 2,000 websites selling fake luxury goods since the New Year, as part of its ongoing quest to clampdown on counterfeit product sales.

The sites in question were selling knock-off versions of products from popular, high-end fashion brands including Burberry, Longchamp, Oakley and Tiffany.

Along with fake products, some of these sites also housed malware and viruses, the City of London Police has warned.

However, with the help of the City of London Police's Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU), brand protection organisations and internet domain name registrars, they have now been taken offline.

This co-ordinated enforcement effort falls under the remit of PIPCU's Operation Ashiko initiative and since its launch in October 2013 - a total of 5,500 websites have been shut down.

Danny Medlycott, detective chief inspector and head of PIPCU, said he hopes the operation will make consumers aware of the dangers of buying counterfeit goods online.

"When shopping online you need to be extremely vigilant that you are not misled into buying fakes. Many sites claim to be selling genuine items, but in fact they are just cheap imitations.

"In some cases, such as with electrical items, these products can be extremely dangerous as they aren't subjected to the vigorous safety checks that legit items are."

"The criminals behind these websites will often take advantage of your personal details, such as financial information and so people may find their card has been compromised and used for other fraudulent scams," he added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.