Users warned to keep eyes peeled for pirate goods

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Users warned to keep eyes peeled for pirate goods

Simon Quicke

Users have been warned by anti-piracy bodies that they need to be on the look out for counterfeit software with large amounts of illegal products swamping the market.

The latest figures from Trading Standards indicate that there has been a four-fold increase in the number of illegal goods that they have seized with 3.7 counterfeit products taken out of circulation last year.

The number of complaints to the Consumer Direct helpline also increased significantly increasing from 1,958 complaints in fiscal 2008-09 to 2,801 in the latest financial year.

John Lovelock, chief executive at FAST, said those selling illegal goods were using all the tools available to dupe customers into buying fake products.

"There is no doubt that criminals are getting more and more sophisticated in their approach to fraud. Some websites are so sophisticated they add counterfeit security certificates to fool shoppers, others are using links to "bargains" sent via social networking sites, internet forums and in e-mails, which also prove to be fake or are used to fish for people's banking details," he said.

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