Police in the UK are deleting thousands of Facebook listings for counterfeit and pirated items, according to National Trading Standards, the government group behind the effort.
So far, law enforcement officials have raided 12 locations, taken down 4,300 Facebook listings and 20 profiles, and issued more than 200 warning letters. Some of the goods that have been seized include Cinderella dolls with high levels of toxic chemicals, TVs with unsafe chargers and many counterfeit computers, tablets, phones and articles of clothing.
The idea, according to the group, is to illustrate to would-be criminals that they aren’t safe anywhere—even on Facebook.
“It shows we can track them down, enter their homes, seize their goods and computers and arrest and prosecute them, even if they are operating anonymously online,” said Lord Toby Harris, National Trading Standards chairman. “Criminals who operate on social media have become brazen because they think operating from their living rooms using laptops—without having to be physically present on market stalls— means they are less likely to get caught. I am extremely pleased that this operation has been able to prove that misconception wrong.”
Fake listings, scams and counterfeit goods are a major problem on Facebook, and though law enforcement deals with the problem in the United States, they certainly haven’t fought it as aggressively or successfully as the British did in this case.