WASHINGTON - Law enforcement agencies working together around the world reportedly seized 132 online domain names that were selling counterfeit goods to Cyber Monday and holiday shoppers, the U.S. Immigration and Custom's Enforcement says.
The websites were allegedly selling counterfeit goods to consumers who had no idea that the goods were in fact counterfeit.
After receiving multiple leads from trademark holders, investigations were held across the country, as well as with European police regarding the nature of the websites.
Some of the goods that were purchased through undercover officers included sports jerseys, clothing, jewelry, DVDs and luxury goods, according to ICE.
The organizations, said to be from Belgium, Denmark, France, Romania and the United Kingdom, helped take down the sites as part of Project Cyber Monday 3 and Project Transatlantic, ICE says.
One arrest was made in the seizure of 101 websites, and European Police seized another 31 websites with foreign-based domains, ICE says.
PayPal accounts and over $175,000 worth of payments to the connected websites are at risk of seizure as well.
According to ICE, when online shoppers enter the website addresses that were seized, they will now see a message notifying them of the seizure and information regarding copyright infringement.
This is the third year that these international organizations have targeted the fraudulent websites aimed toward Cyber Monday shoppers.
Adding the 132 websites seized Monday to the total, over 1,630 domain names have been seized since June 2010 and seize banners have seen over 110 million views.
ICE Director John Morton said in a news release that criminals targeting online shoppers is not only a problem in the United States, but all over the world.
To report IP theft or to learn more, visit the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center online at http://www.iprcenter.gov/ .
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