The PIPCU was launched by the London Metropolitan Police in September last year and the announcement regarding current progress was made on World Intellectual Property day.
The specialist unit boasts to have shut down over 2,500 websites that were selling counterfeit goods worth tens of millions. The types of websites that were shut down were those selling fake designer goods form labels such as Gucci, Ugg, Hollister and GHD. Customers had previously complaied of being short-changed as items purchased were poor quality fakes or outrageously, never delivered!!!
One such victim Clare Harvell, 42 from Cheshire was a victim of fraud from one of the websites that has now been taken down, she purchased a pair of UGG boots as a Christmas present for her daughter but when they arrived she was very disappointed to discover they were poor quality fakes. She was luckily able to claim a refund from her credit card company but said that the issue was ongoing as the website owner had attempted to use her card details again.
The head of the PIPCU Andy Fyfe commented:
“the fact that the PIPCU can announce on World IP Day that in eight months since launching we have suspended more that 2,500 infringing websites is further evidence of the expertise of our officers and the level of commitment to clamp down on IP crime. Behind many of these websites lies an organised crime gang funnelling off the money spent by unsuspecting customers on what they think are quality products”
“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 fraudulent scams as well as exposing their computer to malicious malware”