Facebook and Anti-Counterfeiting Group launch Easter hunt for fake traders

Counterfeit perfume
Counterfeit perfume seized by Suffolk County Council

A new campaign designed to crack down on the sale of counterfeit goods online this Easter has been launched by The Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), Facebook and the UK Intellectual Property Office.

With online sales of “gifting” items, including cosmetics, perfumes, clothing and accessories expected to rise in the run-up to Easter, ‘Operation Clover’ will see the organisations pool their resources to seek out illicit traders and take down  listings.

ACG director general Phil Lewis said: “Traders in counterfeit goods are using prestigious brand names to sell illicit and potentially dangerous products online,”

“Despite the easing of restrictions, Covid-19 continues to have a profound effect on the retail sector.

“With many shops still closed, shoppers have instead gone online to buy their gifts, and sellers have jumped in to meet that demand.

“Disreputable sellers are trading from their homes and garages, selling fake items bearing well established global brand names, including potentially unsafe cosmetics, perfume, clothing, electrical goods and toys.”

ACG intelligence coordinator Graham Mogg added: “We’re targeting traders that are deceiving shoppers by selling counterfeit goods online.

“These fakes are likely to be poorly made, poorly finished and more likely to be unsafe.

“That’s why we’ve been working with Facebook to remove listings of potentially counterfeit goods.

“We want to help protect innocent individuals who are shopping online and simply looking for an Easter bargain.”

“ACG is very grateful to Facebook and the IPO Intelligence Hub for their support. Certainly, without them this operation wouldn’t have been possible.’’