Homeland Security and anti-counterfeiting groups are cracking down on bogus items that steal the hard-won good will of genuine band names. But for the first time these crusaders decided to target the customer. If they have their way, customers who knowingly buy bogus items could face fines or even prison time.

Makes $650 billion yearly

Not only are there flea markets all across the country that sell knock-off bogus merchandise, but rogue websites have begun to appear in recent years. The $650 billion a year sector has grown quite a bit, according to Daily Finance. You can get Prada, Gucci and Rolex pretty much anywhere now in a fake form.

Fighting ‘Whac-a-Mole’

The online websites are not simple to trace and pop up all over the place. Every time one is closed down, another pops up. Kristina Montanaro of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition explained that trying to stop the websites is just like playing “Whac-a-Mole” since the online websites disappear and show up over and over. They look just like the real deal too.

Montanaro gave a seminar called “Beyond Whac-a-Mole: New Initiatives in Intellectual Property Enforcement.” The seminar explained that charge card issuers and processors are working to stop the websites. They stop the online websites from running charge cards when one is detected. Montanaro also discusses different ways that are being used to track the counterfeiters down.

Local flea markets being looked at

According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, nation’s flea markets have been raided a lot recently leading to millions of dollars in merchandise being taken. About 70 percent of all merchandise that claimed to be brand name was not real in these areas. The raids have found a lot of knock-offs being sold.

Telling the public about this

In an effort to educate consumers to the seriousness of knowingly buying affordable brand-name clones, the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition has launched a site called DesignsFauxReal.com. The tongue-in-cheek site looks like a knock-off rogue site, but couples its images of alluring merchandise with slogans like, “The timeless gift of charge card fraud,” and “Free identity theft with every purchase.”

Montanaro explained that buying from the online websites could be dangerous. She said:

“A lot of people don’t realize, you’re handing your card information over to hardened criminals, so you’re at the risk of identity theft.”

Get in trouble with the law

Margaret Chin is a New York City Councilwomen who hopes to pass legislation making it unlawful to purchase counterfeit merchandise, just like the laws found in France and Italy. A number of people agree with the idea and want the law as well. Her plan would make it punishable by a year in prison and $1,000 in fines.

According to Chin:

“The bottom line is counterfeiters have to sell to do their job, and we need a law in place that punishes buyers for supporting this illegal trade.”

If the New York City bill passes into law, it can only be a matter of time before other cities draft similar bills.

How often have you wanted additional information on where to findshort terms loans and turned to an internet search on fast advance loan?” Look no further, all the information and facts you need is at MatchFinacial.com!