Counterfeit Crackdown Hits 690 Websites

EU and US authorities collaborated to seize hundreds of domains

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Authorities in the United States and Europe collaborated to seize control of 690 websites selling counterfeit merchandise, the European police coordination agency Europol announced Monday.

“These websites were set up to dupe consumers into unknowingly buying counterfeit products,” Europol said in a statement. In the operation dubbed “In Our Sites,” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement took down 297 domain names in the United States, while European authorities in Belgium, Denmark, France, Hungary, Romania, Spain and the UK seized 393 domains.

Europol said the market is particularly flooded with knock-off items in the weeks leading up to the holiday season. The most frequently counterfeited items each year, the statement said, “include headphones, sports jerseys, personal care products, shoes, toys, luxury goods, cell phones and electronic accessories.”