BRANDS are bracing themselves as counterfeit criminals look for another target after abusing the 2012 Olympics.
Organised criminals manufactured millions of pounds worth of counterfeit goods to sell illegally throughout the event.
Now the Olympics are over they will begin to target other areas and companies need to do more than ever to protect their brands.
Between March and May, customs seized large amounts of counterfeit goods, with examples including 7,000 Olympic bags and 540 cigarette lighters at a port in Suffolk.
Home Office Minister Damian Green said: “Counterfeiting is not a harmless crime but a criminal enterprise posing a serious economic threat estimated to be worth around £1.3billion in the UK each year.”
The counterfeit trade is monopolised by organised crime gangs who mass produce low quality goods that are potentially dangerous.
Ben Muis, founder of UK based 1970i, offers a service that provides companies with the means to gain visibility of counterfeit activities involving their brands.
He has worked on the creation of Authicode, an interactive anti-counterfeit system, to make it easier for consumers to check authenticity of a product before or after purchase.
The system allows brands to see where and when failed product checks or registration events take place.
This gives them the leads they need to take action.