Shopping online for Cyber Monday? Watch out, some Internet sites may be selling counterfeit merchandise to unsuspecting customers.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and law enforcement agencies from Belguim, Denmark, France, Romania and the United Kingdom seized 132 domain names on Monday that were being used to sell counterfeit goods.
The domain names were seized as part of Project Cyber Monday 3 and Project Transatlantic. Visitors to the seized sites will now find a banner that notifies them of the seizure. Officials also identified PayPal accounts linked to the websites. Proceeds received through the identified accounts, in excess of $175,000, are currently being targeted for seizure.
"We couldn't be more pleased with the opportunity to work closely (with the government) to shut down criminals targeting our customers and our brand just as the holiday season takes off," said Tod Cohen, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Government Relations for eBay Inc. "PayPal and eBay Inc. pride ourselves in going above and beyond in the fight against the illegal online trafficking of counterfeit goods by partnering with law enforcement and rights owners globally, and we hope that this is fair warning to criminals that the Internet is not a safe place to try and sell fake goods."
Federal law enforcement officers made undercover purchases of a host of products including fake Nike gear, and a variety of bogus clothing, jewelry and luxury goods. So far, only one person has been arrested.