In an effort by global law enforcement, over 37,000 websites selling counterfeit goods were shut down during the time leading up to the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend.
To take action against the sites, law enforcement agencies from 27 countries across the globe, including Europol and Interpol, partnered with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Industry members, anti-counterfeiting associations and law enforcement led by the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Centre (IPR Centre) shut down 37,479 sites.
Popular counterfeit items sold each year include headphones, toys, luxury goods, mobile phones, electronics and sports clothing.
“The IPR Centre will continue to collaborate with international law enforcement and industry to protect consumers from purchasing counterfeit goods online, which could expose sensitive financial information and present a health and safety threat,” said IPR Centre director Bruce Foucart.
Europol and Interpol were especially praised for their efforts in taking down the sites. Europol commented in a statement: “Cooperation with private industry remains crucial and is key to monitoring and reporting IP-infringing websites to the concerned countries via Europol, to ultimately make the internet a safer place for consumers.”