19 Stories

Uh Oh, Wearable Tech: Pirates Are Ignoring You

Counterfeiter apathy a 'warning signal' for industry

(Newser) - Is wearable technology like Google Glass and Samsung's Galaxy Gear smart watch destined to be a short-lived fad? China's famously adept counterfeiters appear to think so, in what one expert tells CNN should be a "serious warning signal" for the tech industry. CNN reporters visited almost two... More »

No. 1 Producer of Bogus US Bills Is...

Peru, where counterfeiting is 'more profitable than cocaine'

(Newser) - Forget cocaine: Peru's big money-maker is making money—the fake variety. Counterfeiting has taken off in the country, which has overtaken Colombia as the largest source of fake US currency in the last two years, the AP reports. The phony money typically finds its way into the US, Argentina,... More »

Chinese Gangs Making ... Fake Italian Train Tickets?

'Leonardo Express' forgeries found in shipping container

(Newser) - Italian cops have seized phony train tickets worth a massive $35 million, but the forger of the "Leonardo Express" tickets didn't have the skills of the Rome airport train's namesake. The tickets, found in a shipping container from China, were paler than the genuine article and the... More »

Feds Grab 150 Websites in Counterfeit Case

Online sellers 'lured in holiday shoppers': official

(Newser) - Buyers of online counterfeit goods may find their favorite websites are under federal lock-down, NPR reports. Authorities have impounded the domain names of 150 websites suspected of selling pirated or counterfeit items, they said today. That includes sellers of DVD sets, golf equipment, and professional sports jerseys. "For most,... More »

Shadowy 'Chinese Guy' Runs Deadly Fake ID Market

IDs out of China so good they can beat scanners

(Newser) - Terrorist threats and illegal immigration have spurred the advent of hologram- and bar code-adorned forms of identification, but getting fake IDs good enough to fool the system has never been easier, reports the Washington Post . The main customers of the fake ID merchants are underage drinkers—who also often drive,... More »

Knock-Off Bags May Boost Sales of Real Thing

Counterfeit items seem to have an unexpected effect

(Newser) - A New York City councilwoman is trying to make it illegal to own a knock-off designer bag in her district of Chinatown, on the grounds that it hurts business for the real designer. Not so fast, writes Ray Fisman at Slate . Counterfeits may actually help those businesses by essentially acting... More »

$100 Bill Goes 3D

New security features designed to curb counterfeiting

(Newser) - The $100 bill is getting a new look and two high-tech security features to curb counterfeiters, the AP reports. A 3D security ribbon on the front has images of bells and 100s that move as you tilt the bill. The note, which is out next February, also has a Liberty... More »

Buyers Scammed for Millions in Record EBay Ripoff

Customers paid big bucks for counterfeit products

(Newser) - Consumers around the world were bilked out of millions of dollars for counterfeit golf clubs in the biggest-ever eBay scam, reports the Times of London. The clubs, as well as clothing, accessories and passes for an airline lounge, were auctioned online from 2004-2008 by a criminal network involving crooks from... More »

Peru Flooding US With Counterfeit Bills

About $8 million in fake greenbacks found in U.S., another $18 million in Peru

(Newser) - American officials have seized some $8 million in high-quality counterfeit US bills made in Peru, reports the Los Angeles Times. South American raids have uncovered another $18 million. The massive number of fake bills costs businesses and individuals millions, and threatens to undermine confidence in US currency, warn officials. "... More »

$134B Bond Fraud May Be Mob Handiwork

US, Italian authorities blame organized crime for huge counterfeiting

(Newser) - The counterfeit bonds with a face value of $134 billion seized near the Swiss border are probably the work of the Mafia, say Italian and American secret services. The mystery surrounding the suitcase stuffed with fake US Treasury bonds deepened yesterday, after a blog revealed that police had released the... More »

$134B in Bonds Seized in Italy 'Clearly Fake'

US debt office tells conspiracy theorists to calm down

(Newser) - Conspiracy theorists, take note: The US bonds seized near the Swiss border with a face value of $134 billion "are clearly fakes," a Washington spokesman tells Bloomberg. Most securities are now issued electronically, only about $105 billion in bonds have yet to be surrendered, and the "Kennedy... More »

$134B Suitcase Could Be Huge Smuggling Scam

Italy arrests men with enough US bonds to buy a few countries

(Newser) - Last week, Italian authorities detained two Japanese men attempting to cross the border into Switzerland carrying a suitcase stuffed with $134 billion in US bonds. The men are either massive counterfeiters or—even scarier—the fourth-largest creditors of the US Treasury, with enough cash to buy three or four countries.... More »

Chinese Court Sentences Microsoft Pirates

11 jailed for counterfeit software ring with 'unprecedented' scope

(Newser) - A Chinese court has convicted 11 people of violating copyright laws and sentenced them to as much as 6 1/2  years of prison for working with a counterfeiting ring that sold fake Microsoft products around the world. Microsoft hailed the crackdown on the pirates, whose organization may have made $2... More »

Feds: Today's Counterfeiters Are Poor Copies

Ink-jet amateurs replace skilled crooks who once fooled experts

(Newser) - Secret Service agents are waxing nostalgic for counterfeiters of old, the Kansas City Star reports. The printers who once produced 20s, 50s, and 100s good enough to fool experts have been replaced by home office crooks who reproduce small bills on ink-jet printers. "It’s a lost art,"... More »

Tobacco Crackdown Aims to Douse Smuggling Efforts

Making supply chain more transparent among goals of international talks

(Newser) - Negotiators from over 150 countries are working with the World Health Organization to shape a proposal intended to combat the global trade in illegal cigarettes, Portfolio reports. Anti-tobacco advocates say current measures are insufficient to stem the illicit production or smuggling that accounts for 11% of worldwide tobacco sales, and... More »

Watchmaker's Anti-Fakery Technique Is So Money

Vacheron Constantin uses methods used to foil counterfeiters on new $50K line

(Newser) - A Swiss watchmaker has broken new ground in the effort to fight fakery, Portfolio reports, using techniques designed to foil currency counterfeiters on a new line of timepieces that run to $50,000. Vacheron Constantin uses laser engraving on tiny components, and coats dials with transparent film printed with tiny... More »

Denim Detective Unzips Fake Jeans Biz

Designers hire PI's to protect their bottom lines

(Newser) - Chris Johnson likes collecting women's jeans, but he doesn't wear them—he's one of hundreds of fashion detectives hired by designers to spot knockoffs, the Los Angeles Times reports. Johnson trolls stores and Internet sites for clients like True Religion who want to put counterfeiters out of business. The fakes... More »

DVD Dogs Sniff Out Pirates

MPAA enlists canine crimefighters for battle against counterfeiters

(Newser) - Two dogs trained to sniff out counterfeit DVDs are so good at their jobs that infuriated pirates have put a bounty on their heads, Wired reports. The dogs—Labrador retrievers who were taught to detect the scent of polycarbonate—have helped locate millions of fake discs hidden in warehouses and... More »

New $5 Bill Debuts Today

Abe gets a colorful makeover on copy-resistant bills

(Newser) - Honest Abe may've been a bit pasty and gaunt, but the public can now see him in a more vivid hue: The redesigned $5 bill, complete with splashes of purple designed to thwart pesky counterfeiters, is being released today. Lincoln keeps his place on the front, and his memorial on... More »

19 Stories