PIPCU introduces new scheme to help victims of counterfeiting
On World Intellectual Property Day (26 April 2019), the City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (“PIPCU”) announced its new operation aimed to help victims of counterfeiting who have been sold counterfeit goods.
Operation Chargewell will not interface directly with the public in most circumstances, but will assist consumers who have been deceived into purchasing counterfeit items from illegitimate websites. It will work by the consumer reporting their purchased counterfeit items to their bank. The consumer’s bank will then transfer the victim’s case to the PIPCU for further investigation. If the investigation confirms that the items are counterfeit (and, we assume, that the consumer was not intending to buy a counterfeit item) PIPCU will inform the bank, and the bank will authorise a chargeback.
The operation was trialled in July 2018 as a pilot scheme in collaboration with Lloyds Banking Group. The trial was successful and the scheme has been rolled out. PIPCU intends to include other banks.
PIPCU will work with buyers to obtain information about the counterfeit website and payment details. Creative brand protection companies will also be involved, as they will team up with the unit to confirm if the purchased item is counterfeit. The unit intends to bring in “disruption tactics” to successfully take down counterfeit websites.
Lloyds Banking Group’s director of fraud and financial crime commented that keeping its customer’s money safe is a top priority and Lloyds has a 24/7 fraud team in place to raise the bar in the fight against fraud.
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