FBI seizes 150 websites selling counterfeit goods on Cyber Monday

FBI seizes 150 websites selling counterfeit goods on Cyber Monday

Consumers flocked to ecommerce sites as Cyber Monday sales ascended to new heights, but with the holiday shopping season far from finished, buyers must remain aware of security risks and illegitimate websites.

According to an FBI press release, the agency shut down 150 websites on Cyber Monday that allegedly sold and distributed counterfeit goods and copyrighted material.

"For most, the holidays represent a season of good will and giving, but for these criminals, it's the season to lure in unsuspecting holiday shoppers," said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton. "More and more Americans are doing their holiday shopping online, and they may not realize that purchasing counterfeit goods results in American jobs lost, American business profits stolen and American consumers receiving substandard products."

The federal government is in custody of the 150 seized domain names, and a banner that notifies shoppers of the retailer's wrongdoing has been placed on each site, the report said. Eighty-two websites were seized on Cyber Monday last year as part of Operation In Our Sites, a joint law enforcement effort to combat online counterfeiting and piracy.

Scams are most prevalent during the holiday shopping season, as consumers constantly search for the best deals. Shoppers should make sure ecommerce sites contain a secure payment system, and they should attempt to purchase goods from well-known, legitimate retailers, experts say.