US-EU fraud crackdown seizes 328 websites

June 26, 2013
A total of 328 website domains accused of selling counterfeit goods were seized by US and European authorities in the latest crackdown on online fraud, officials said Wednesday.

A total of 328 website domains accused of selling counterfeit goods were seized by US and European authorities in the latest crackdown on online fraud, officials said Wednesday.

US authorities seized 177 for websites selling counterfeit trademark merchandise manufactured by American-owned Rosetta Stone, NFL, Beats by Dre, Tiffany & Co and others, according to a statement.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations said court orders for the seizures were issued after the affected companies confirmed the products were counterfeit or otherwise illegal.

Another 151 sites were shut down by the European Police (Europol) in coordination with authorities in Belgium, France, Romania and Britain.

"It is important to stop the sale of counterfeit products over the Internet as it undermines legitimate businesses and also often causes health and safety risks to consumers," said Rob Wainwright, director of Europol, in the statement from Washington.

"This successful transatlantic operation sends an important message to the criminals showing them that they cannot hide despite the fact that they are operating via the Internet.

Officials said they also seized more than $150,000 in proceeds from PayPal accounts linked to illegal sales.

US officials have been using this procedure for several years in anti-counterfeiting operations, but rights groups including the American Civil Liberties Union have complained that the actions amount to unconstitutional seizures without due process.

But David Hirschmann of the US Chamber of Commerce's Global Intellectual Property Center hailed the actions.

"The criminals behind these websites hack away at American jobs and push dangerous products, such as medications and children's toys, into our homes and neighborhoods," he said.

"This initiative is an important step in disrupting criminal networks that abuse the Internet and defraud the public."

The latest seizure brought the number of websites seized since 2010 to 2,252, including 1,624 forfeited to the US government, according to ICE.

Explore further: US shuts down 82 counterfeit goods, music sites (Update)

Related Stories

US closes 150 websites in counterfeit crackdown

November 28, 2011

US authorities said Monday they have shut down 150 websites offering counterfeit goods like sports jerseys and luxury handbags in an operation tied to the pre-Christmas shopping surge.

Megaupload latest target of US anti-piracy campaign

January 21, 2012

File-sharing website Megaupload is the most high-profile target yet of a US campaign which has seen the seizure of hundreds of sites accused of offering pirated music or movies or counterfeit goods.

70 more websites seized in US copyright crackdown

July 12, 2012

US authorities seized 70 websites suspected of selling counterfeit goods using luxury brand names such as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany or Burberry and sports logos like NFL and MLB, officials said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.