Burberry: One of the brands targeted by counterfeiters Elena Dijour
Two thousand websites selling fake luxury goods have been removed since the start of the year in the UK, according to the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit. The fight against counterfeiting saw fake goods from brands such as Burberry, Longchamp and Abercrombie & Fitch amongst the brands targeted. Collaboration between brand-protection groups and internet registries contributed to the successful operation.
Internet is first port of call for fakes
According to Haydn Simpson, head of brand protection at NetNames, the luxury goods sector is the industry where counterfeit detection and enforcement on the internet is most developed. He added that it was also 'the most at risk sector, with a fifth (20 per cent) of Brits in a recent NetNames poll stating that they would buy their partner a counterfeit handbag or purse.' He added that fraudsters were taking advantage of the rise in online shopping by employing increasingly sophisticated tactics to trick shoppers into buying counterfeit products – particularly on marketplace websites and even on social media channels. 'What’s more, the internet is fast becoming the first port of call for those shoppers looking to buy counterfeits, with 40 per cent of Brits in NetNames’ poll saying they would turn to online channels – including web search engines, marketplace sites and social media – to source and purchase fake products,' he added.
More to be done
Mr Simpson said that whilst the news of website closures was a step in the right direction, 'there is still more to be done. Brands have a responsibility to safeguard their customers, with many counterfeits being potentially dangerous to consumers, including fake makeup, toys and pharmaceuticals. It is also in companies’ interest to protect both their revenue and reputation from cyber criminals. For online retailers and luxury brands, safeguarding genuine customer traffic and protecting the legitimate route-to-market is of paramount importance to maximise the opportunities that the online channels offer to grow sales.'
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