2,000 counterfeit websites banned since January

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Police crackdown after fears that fake sites capture private data.

2,000 websites selling fake luxury goods have been forcibly removed from the internet since January 2015, according to a new UK police report.

The BBC highlights the opinion of the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, run by City of London Police, that counterfeit websites are not only selling illegal goods but are also capturing data from unsuspecting customers, including bank details.

The removal operation, dubbed Ashiko, has shut down nearly 5,500 websites selling fake designer fashion and jewellery since its launch in October 2014.

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As quoted in the BBC, Oliver Guimaraes, managing director of Globaleyez, which helps Thomas Sabo to target counterfeiting, said there had been "a tremendous decrease" in websites selling fake products because of the action.

NetNames head of brand protection, Haydn Simpson, also comments: “Fraudsters are taking advantage of the rise in online shopping by employing increasingly sophisticated tactics to trick shoppers into buying counterfeit products – particularly on marketplace websites and even on social media channels.

"What’s more, the internet is fast becoming the first port of call for those shoppers looking to buy counterfeits, with 40% of Brits in NetNames’ poll saying they would turn to online channels – including web search engines, marketplace sites and social media – to source and purchase fake products.”

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