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Federal officials take down 132 counterfeit sites trying to take advantage of Cyber Monday

By Daniel S Levine,

Cyber Monday is today, and while there are plenty of legitimate sites out there trying to get consumers excited, there are also counterfeit sites trying to take advantage of the record-number of online shoppers. Federal officials, working with their European counterparts, took down 132 sites selling fake merchandise.

According to The Hill, Immigration and Customs Enforcement worked with officials from the UK, France, Denmark, Belgium, Romania and the European Police Office to make sure that the sites were shut down.

This is the third straight year that the ICE has used Cyber Monday to target sites allegedly selling fake goods.

Reuters reports that many of the sites were selling fake NFL jerseys, Nike shoes, Adobe software and more. ICE added that at least one arrest in the US was made.

The operation had agents buying the products undercover. If a rights holder confirmed that they were faked, the ICE obtained a court order allowing them to close the site. In three years, this operation has shut down 1,630 sites.

“This operation is a great example of the tremendous cooperation between ICE and our international partners at the [Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center]," ICE Director John Morton said in a statement. “Our partnerships enable us to go after criminals who are duping unsuspecting shoppers all over the world. This is not an American problem, it is a global one and it is a fight we must win.”

Morton stressed that many of the fake sites are based in Asia and the ICE does work with China and other Asian officials to stop it in the region.

 

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