While serving an eviction notice on Long Island for failure to pay rent, US law enforcement discovered an established counterfeit operation and uncovered more than 3,660 pairs of counterfeit UGG boots worth an estimated $700,000.
The raid on the counterfeit UGG operation disrupted an organised gang that assembled and shipped counterfeit goods across the country. The total seizure included counterfeits of other premium brands estimated to be worth over $1m.
“As a leader in Intellectual Property Rights investigations, HSI is committed to dismantling organizations that seek to sell inferior counterfeit goods to unwitting consumers,” said Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York which was involved in the raid. “Our partnerships with industry help all of us in the end by safeguarding the US economy as well as public safety.”
UGG provides counterfeit education
Keeping its customers at the center of everything it does, UGG is outspoken in educating consumers about the prevalence and methods of counterfeit ecommerce websites, which continue to fool unsuspecting customers.
The brand’s Counterfeit Education tab on UGG.com provides tips on how to identify fakes and how to get reimbursed if you fall victim. It also aims to educate consumers on the dangers of supporting counterfeiters, provides links to its dedicated social pages for reporting fake sites and a list of authorised retailers who can guarantee authentic purchases.
“Since 2009, we have taken legal action against over 60,000 websites selling counterfeit products, we have removed over 590,000 counterfeit listings on various online sites such as Taobao and eBay and seized over 2.2 million counterfeit products before they entered the market,” said Dave Powers, CEO and President of Deckers Brands. “We will continue to support successful raids and website takedowns as these efforts are part of our commitment to our customers.”
Impact of counterfeiting
Many consumers may not know that buying counterfeit products has a significant impact on the global economy, eliminating tens of thousands of jobs with legitimate businesses and costing the economy an estimated $600bn of revenue a year. Worse yet, they are not accountable to human rights and environmental regulations nor do they adhere to child labor laws, anti-sweatshop laws, or restricted substances laws. According to Deckers Brands, this puts workers, the environment and consumers at risk.