On 22 July, World Trademark Review says that a new report has revealed the extent of fraudulent and infringing advertisements on social media platforms targeting major brands, providing an action plan to clamp down on illicit activity. The study identifies 70 major international brands that have been the target of fraudulent and infringing advertisements on social media platforms, some of which receive up to a quarter of a million views before they are detected. The article says that the real value of the report is by shining a light on the tactics employed by fraudsters and what it deems to be the inherent systemic weaknesses on social media and e-commerce platforms that are exploited by criminals to sell counterfeit and illegal goods.
The report from by the Transnational Alliance to Combat Illicit Trade (TRACIT) is available at –
The Report highlights dangers as including –
- Fraudulent adverts give innocent consumers a false impression of authenticity. Counterfeit goods are generally of poor quality, will not last, are not guaranteed, and may be dangerous;
- IP theft in the form of trademark counterfeiting and copyright piracy stifles economic growth and job creation by discouraging innovation, reducing incentives for companies to invest in R&D and inhibiting creative industries from realizing their full potential;
- Most fraudulent websites show a disregard for data privacy of any type, including customer data, security, and financial information. Since these websites rarely use any form of security, consumers are often also exposed to credit card fraud, identify theft, and other cybercrimes; and
- The fraudulent and infringing adverts discovered on Facebook often share similar characteristics and suggest that organized crime groups or organized illicit networks are operating these fraudulent ad campaigns.