The FBI shut down 150 websites authorities said they believed were selling counterfeit goods.
“The theft of intellectual property, to include the trafficking of counterfeit goods, creates significant financial losses,” FBI Cyber Division Section Chief Zack Miller said. “The FBI aggressively pursues intellectual property enforcement through traditional investigative methods, intelligence initiatives and coordinated efforts with private industry and domestic and foreign law enforcement partners.”
The federal government controls the 150 domains that were seized and a banner appears on the sites that they have been taken over due to copyright infringement.
The FBI said they made undercover purchases of counterfeit sports jerseys, golf equipment, handbags, DVDs and more. The FBI was joined in the operation by Immigration and Customs Border Control and the Department of Homeland Security.
Tom Taylor, president of brand protection for OpSec Security in Boston (which works to protect brands from counterfeiting) welcomed the move and its timing.
"The action taken today is a step in the right direction. As more people turn to the Internet for their holiday shopping, more counterfeiters move their operations online, finding ways to trick consumers into buying fake products," he said. "The sale of counterfeit goods leads to losses in business profits, jobs, and can impact consumer safety and well-being. The Immigration and Customs Border Control seizures for Cyber Monday have added more ammunition in combating this illicit activity and have helped to increase awareness about the issues surrounding counterfeiting and the ramifications of those sellers involved."
Taylor said consumers should still be aware that counterfeiting is going on and that it can be more difficult to tell with so many legitimate products on sale.
To read the full story, please visit Boston.com's Consumer Alert.
Please visit OpSec Security's website for more insight from OpSec Security and to learn more about OpSec’s Anti-Counterfeiting and Brand Protection Solutions.