Counterfeit across social medias is growing. The Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore recently published an article about sales of luxury products on Istagram. Counterfeiters post photos of fake bags, shoes and clothes by using genuine trademarks and pictures of the products. Prices don’t deviate from the original ones in order to look like clearance or outlet prices. Users are then invited to contact the seller by Whatsapp or other platforms and to pay in advance by using Paypal or Italian Postepay. After two or three weeks users receive the ordered products by courier and discover to have bought fake goods made in China.
It’s an insidious kind of piracy that involves unsuspected “intermediaries” (they usually have a different occupation like student, housewife, electrician, etc.) in fake goods selling. They act like sellers without any economical risk (they order only what they have already sold so they don’t need a storehouse) but with great legal risks. Italian law treats as criminal offence not only fake goods manufacturing but also their sale, offering for sale and importing (474, 517 and 517ter p.c.).
Recently, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, assisted by the firm, reported to the Italian Finance Police that fake sneakers were sold on Facebook. During the intelligence work the police discovered a Facebook user who was reselling fake sneakers manufactured in China. After the order, fake sneakers were shipped directly by the Chinese factory to customers.
The police found the responsible and was also able to identify the customers’ name by crossing data from Facebook messages and statements of the prepaid card used to receive the orders. Fake goods were seized, and customers interrogated and fined for buying fake products.