2500 counterfeit goods websites shut down in police swoop
In a world that favours labels and ridiculous designer handbags that look like a jailer’s crotch, the counterfeit goods industry is booming. But not any more. A specialist police unit has shut down over 2,500 websites offering knock off GBH hair straighteners, Fugg boots and Hollista clothing, amongst other bare-faced designer fakery.
The unit, called Pipcu, (which might sound like an animated penguin, but is short for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit) was launched last year to crack down on fake goods. These websites have been leaving customers in the lurch, offering bad quality or often not bothering to deliver goods at all.
While most of us may cry, ‘Well what did you EXPECT?’, these websites hoodwink people by coming up under Google shopping searches, and look like the real deal. One customer ordered Ugg boots for her daughter, thinking they were legitimate.
Unfortunately, she then found that not only were the boots fake, but the website owner had used her credit card details to do a spot of shopping himself.
DCI Andy Fyfe of Pipcu (if indeed that is his real name) said that often the sites are a front for organised crime and can also contain viruses.
‘Consumers also need to be aware that by accessing websites like this they are running the risk of their personal details being compromised and being used for other fraudulent scams, as well as exposing their computer to malicious malware.’
So be warned. In future, always buy your ugly designer crap from a reputable online retailer.