Almost 5,000 social media accounts closed in crackdown on counterfeit goods

The Dubai Department of Economic Development is targeting social media platforms and websites offering fake products

epa06911341 Attila Listvan (74) uses his computer in his home in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, 23 July 2018 (issued 26 July 2018). Listvan is the organizer of many internet groups, and a keen documenter of the Szabolcs Folk Dance Group for decades. Older members of the family are also getting more and more comfortable in the digital world, with the use of two or more devices in their households to browse and keep in touch online.  EPA/Attila Balazs HUNGARY OUT ATTENTION: This Image is part of a PHOTO SET

Almost 5,000 social media accounts and 30 websites selling counterfeit goods have been closed down this year after a major crackdown by the Dubai Department of Economic Development.

The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection sector of Ded worked with affected brands to switch off the accounts, which had attracted more than 33 million followers.

Ebrahim Behzad, director of intellectual property rights protection management at Ded, said many fraudsters believe they can escape prosecution by trading online.

But he warned offenders that the department's latest operation proved they are determined that they will be caught.

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He said: "Social networking accounts have come in handy for many who trade in counterfeit goods nowadays but the IPR team maintains tight vigil to prevent such misuse of modern technology and protect the reputation of Dubai as a competitive business hub.

“Our team works for 24 hours to keep monitoring social networking sites and digital platforms used for promoting and selling fake goods and counterfeit commodities.”

Mr Behzad said that counterfeit items offered online include bags, perfumes, watches, accessories, phones and cosmetic products.

He urged consumers not to use sites selling counterfeit goods, as they not only have an adverse impact on traders but can also be a safety risk for buyers as the quality and testing procedures are not comparable to authorised standards.

He called on the public to report counterfeit good sites and accounts by calling by 6005 45555 or via the social media account @dubai consumers on Instagram and Twitter.

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