Along with the rise of internet sales, so too comes a rise in companies trying to pass off counterfeit goods. The quality of the fakes can be good enough for consumers to be taken advantage of, while they think they’re just getting a really good deal. Fortunately, thanks to the efforts of our tax dollars and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents, 10 Internet domains were seized that were illegally selling counterfeit cycling equipment and apparel.
Working with companies like Specialized, Invista (owners of Coolmax and Lycra brands), PayPal, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ICE has taken control of the offending websites which now greet would be customers with a banner informing them that the domain has been confiscated. Websites affected by the actions include cyclingyong.com, samewood.com, Ecyclingonline.com, Cycleoutfit.com, Ecyclingjerseys.com, Bike-jersey.com, Cycling-outfit.com, Teamscycling.com, Cycling-jersey.net, and Yongcycling.com.
According to Specialized’ head of Brand Security, Andrew Love, “Our engineers have tested counterfeit frames in our lab and frankly they don’t hold up. They failed our impact and fatigue tests and the aluminum head tube cups de-bonded, making steering vague and loose – that is simply not safe. The counterfeiters just want to make a sale; they have zero interest in the customer. Our product integrity and rider safety are very personal for us.”
In addition to the website seizures, HSI is targeting the Paypal accounts implicated in the sale of forgeries for additional confiscation to the amount of $90,000.
It should go without saying folks, if you see it for sale on the internet and the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.