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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 13 November 2018

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

Nearly 5,000 social media accounts selling fake goods have been shut down in Dubai so far this year. EPA
Nearly 5,000 social media accounts selling fake goods have been shut down in Dubai so far this year. EPA

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.