Isle of Man
26 February 2014
Reporter: Franki Webb
Isle of Man OFT to block Facebook fakes
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) in the Isle of Man is investigating accounts on Facebook following accusations that the social media site is being used as a platform to sell counterfeit goods.

According to the OFT, a trader from the Merseyside/West Lancashire area in England created a Facebook page to specifically to target residents on the Isle of Man.

The trader offered counterfeit designer clothes and sportswear for sale, and said he could deliver them personally.

The OFT is also investigating another Facebook page that is believed to be perpetrating an international scam to sell expensive designer handbags. The page provides a link to a fake Isle of Man address.

John Peet, chief inspector of the OFT, said: "It is apparent that most individuals who make use of social media and online marketplaces to sell counterfeit goods are blissfully unaware of the fact that they could be being monitored by enforcement agencies.”

“We regularly exchange information with other enforcement agencies both in and outside the Island. Anyone who is making use of Facebook to sell counterfeit goods should be aware of the fact that it is a criminal offence to do so and that anyone found guilty in court of selling counterfeit goods or of advertising such goods for sale would be liable to a substantial fine and/or a lengthy prison sentence."

David Quirk, chairman of the OFT, added, "I will reiterate what I have said in previous media releases. The OFT will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action with respect to counterfeit goods to prevent dangerous or shoddy items being sold to unwitting consumers, to protect genuine businesses and to protect the rights of trade mark owners."

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