Global police have shut down nearly 31,000 domains as part of a crackdown on IP infringement.
Law enforcers from 18 EU member states including the UK joined forces with Europol, the US National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, Eurojust and Interpol as part of operation IOS X.
The 30,506 domains in question were apparently associated with selling a range of counterfeit and pirated items: from pharmaceuticals, software and electronics to movies, TV streaming and music.
During the crackdown, officers arrested three suspects, seized 26,000 luxury products including clothes and perfume, 363 liters of alcohol, and a trove of hardware devices. They also froze more than €150,000 ($166,000) in several bank accounts and online payment platforms.
During the operation, Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Coordinated Coalition (IPC³) cross-checked information gathered by officers against its databases in real-time.
The policing organization has also been responsible for training law enforcers in member state countries in IP infringement investigation techniques, it said.
It’s Don’t F***(ake) Up campaign, launched last year, is designed to inform consumers about the potential risks involved in buying from counterfeit sites.
The operation mimics a similar raid in November 2018 which saw nearly 34,000 domains shuttered by police in response to the growing problem of IP infringement.
City of London police have warned consumers in the past that if they buy from such sites their identities may be abused by fraudsters in the future. In 2017 it contacted 400 members of the British public to tell them their names and addresses had been used to register websites selling counterfeit or pirated goods.
The bigger problem is that goods bought from these sites are of inferior quality, possibly even dangerously so, or don’t arrive at all.
Source: Infosecurity Magazine