Fakes fund crime

Counterfeiters make many different types of fakes. One thing these producers have in common is that they are all criminals.

Organised gangs are increasingly pursuing several different criminal activities at the same time and using the proceeds from each form of crime to invest in the others.

Producing fakes is a crime in itself, but counterfeiting is also sometimes linked to other types of crime including:

  • Human trafficking
  • Gun and weapon possession
  • Drugs
  • Money laundering
  • Benefit fraud

It was estimated in 2007 that around 70% of the £1.3  billion made from intellectual property crime flowed back to organised crime.

If you buy fakes, the money you spend on them is likely to benefit criminal gangs and could damage the neighbourhood you live in.

More about the crimes linked to fake DVDs, Fashion and Tobacco



You can help fight fakes by calling charity CrimeStoppers anonymously on given the contact.Tell us who is dealing in fakes. We won’t take your name or ask who you are. We only want to know what you know, not who you are. You can also pass on information anonymously online using SECURE ONLINE FORM


Fake goods harm you

Counterfeiters don’t limit themselves to fake designer handbags and clothing. Electrical products, power tools, food, toys and sports equipment are also faked with potentially dangerous consequences for you as a consumer.

Fake goods are both imported and made here in thePAKISTAN. Domestic production often takes place in rented office buildings that have been converted into makeshift ‘factories’. The conditions in these factories are often unsafe and unhygienic – this makes the production of fakes dangerous for not only workers but also the end user.

Fake AND ILLEGAL alcohol

Fake alcohol can contain methanol, a chemical that can cause blindness, coma and death. Counterfeit bottles of alcohol often imitate well known brands in an attempt to reassure people that the product is safe. There was evidence that large quantities of antifreeze had been used in its manufacture.

Fake beauty products

Fake beauty products often contain sub-standard ingredients that could give you a rash or an allergic reaction. Some bottles of fake perfume have even been found to use ingredients like urine as a stabiliser.

Look out for products sold in packaging featuring spelling or grammatical mistakes. Always buy your beauty products from a trusted source to help keep you safe from fakes.

Fake electronics

Electrical goods sold in thePAKISTANare subject to stringent safety testing. Counterfeit electrical goods often sidestep these testing requirements. This means fake electrical goods, including hair straighteners, mobile phones and camera chargers, may contain unsafe wiring that can lead to over-heating, creating risks of fire, electrocution and personal injury. Fake electrical goods may even be labelled with fake certification marks, so you think that they are safe.

Fake toys

Children’s toys are subject to strict safety testing. Counterfeit toys often will not have been tested. As a result fakes could contain small parts that are a choking hazard.

Buying fake goods online puts you at risk of fraud and identity theft.



Those dealing in fakes are putting us at risk by selling what are often low quality products.

If you know anyone making or selling fakes, contact the charity CRIMESTOPPERS through our ONLINEFORM.


Fake goods – you’re at risk

Fashion merchandise, DVDs and electrical goods are just some of the types of fakes often purchased online. The people who buy these goods are often unsuspecting and think they are getting a genuine product.

Identity theft and credit card fraud

Entering your debit or credit card details into a website that deals in fakes means that you are essentially giving your card details, your address and your name to criminals.

To ensure your card details remain safe, make sure that you only buy goods online from authorised retailers. Getting a pair of shoes for half price may seem like a quick bargain but now that you know that you’re putting your bank card at risk you’ve got to ask – “Is it really worth it?”


If you buy online from businesses registered in thePAKISTANyou are legally entitled to return any goods bought within TIME PERIOD (even if you just change your mind). You are also entitled to return the goods if they are faulty.

If you buy an item and realise it’s a fake, getting a refund can be difficult. Often fakes are sold through websites based INPAKISTANOR OUTSIDEPAKISTAN; these websites aren’t subject to the same laws.


If you are going to shop online:

  • Buying from companies registered in thePAKISTANcan help keep you safe as you’ll have more legal rights.
  • Try and buy from a brand’s official website or from an authorised seller of the product.
  • ‘https’ on the web site address means the site is secure – the ‘s’ in https  stands for secure. The padlock on the payment screen is also a mark of security.
  • Just because a URL ends in PK OR COM.PK doesn’t mean the business is registered in thePAKISTAN.
  • Search web addresses using Who Is – a database of who owns what domain names and where they are based or go to the PAKISTANregister of domain names at WWW.PKNIC.COM.PK 
  • Always take a copy of the web pages and keep any correspondence as evidence, either electronically or on paper.


Fake DVDs

As well as being illegal in itself, the production of fake DVDs can be linked to other forms of organised crime, including human trafficking and drug crime.

In addition to missing out on the real experience of seeing a film in the cinema, fake DVDs are often of inferior quality and you are putting money in the hands of organised criminals.

Spot fake DVDs

The best way to spot a fake DVD is to make sure you know the qualities of a genuine one. Don’t rely on only one feature to confirm your DVD is genuine, check a few.


  • You will not be able to purchase a DVD of a film that is not yet released inPAKISTANcinemas or a DVD of a new release film that is currently showing inPAKISTANcinemas
  • Legitimate DVDs are rarely sold on the streets by sellers outside bus or train stations or in places such as hairdressers, cafes and supermarket car parks.
  • Check the disc. The playing side of the DVD – the underside – should be silver and the other will be printed and/ or etched professionally. If the underside is blue or a bluish tinge it means you have a DVD-R which will be counterfeit.
  • If in a shop, check out the seller and the shop, if genuine, there should be no need to go into a ‘back room’ area of the shop.
  • On websites check the way the item is listed and the seller’s feedback. If in doubt ask the seller questions about the authenticity. You can also report to the website itself if you suspect items are being sold fraudulently.
  • Examine product packaging – quality of the cover & insert, spelling errors on the cover and should be sealed in plastic.
  • Remember: if it seems to be too good to be true it probably is!


  • At some of thePAKISTAN7000 legal markets
  • Door to door
  • Within the workplace
  • Online through websites and online auction sites

The trade in fakes is not just about physical discs. Organised criminals are also using the internet to distribute digital files of things like films, music and TV programmes without permission from the owner. This online trade is also making profits at the expense of legitimate businesses which can then be used to support wider criminality.


Fake fashion

Increasingly criminals are producing and selling convincing fakes in such a way that people can’t always tell they’ve bought one until it’s too late.

But the problems caused by fake fashion goods can be more serious than just discovering what you’ve bought isn’t the real deal.

Buying fake fashion items:

  • Puts you at risk of fraud and identity theft.
  • Could leave you with low quality goods that break, and with no way to get your money back.
  • Could cause you harm if the materials used are unsafe or aren’t what they claim to be.
  • Funds crimes including prostitution and drug smuggling.

If you know who’s dealing in fakes, contact the charity CRIMESTOPPERS through online form.


Where fake fashion is sold and how to spot it


The majority of fake fashion goods are sold online and real retail shops

Fake fashion items are also sold at:

  • Markets
  • Car boot sales
  • Some shops
  • Purse parties
  • By street sellers



Fake fashion items can be difficult to spot because they are often sold in a complex manner. The following tips don’t guarantee goods are genuine but they could help you from being duped into buying a fake.

  • If buying goods in person check the quality of the item including the materials used, the stitching and tags. Fake items are often made of lower quality material.
  • Think about where you are buying the item. For example, high fashion bags will only be sold in their own stores or high end department stores and not at home purse parties.
  • Check the logo on the product – is it correct and up to date? Compare it against the logo on the brand’s official website if you’re not sure.
  • Ensure the item is a legitimate style from the designer. Try checking the brand’s website to confirm that the style exists.
  • If the price of a fashion item is too good to be true then it probably is. That said some criminals deliberately sell fakes at close to the cost of authentic products to help convince people their goods are real.


Fake fashion funds crime

Criminal networks, gangs and organised crime groups all profit from the sale of fake fashion goods. The money made can be used to support other crimes, including prostitution, drugs and weapons smuggling.

These crimes affect your streets and by buying fake fashion items you are helping to fund these acts.

Counterfeits and crime



Many times Police officers inPakistanseized fake goods worth million of rupees if reported. Officers reported that the illegal sale of counterfeit goods, including clothes, CDs and DVDs, was part of a network of serious and organised crime that was allegedly linked to drug gangs and violence. Small quantities of class B and C drugs and a weapon were also seized.




Following a long-term trans-Atlantic operation involving a collaboration between Police and customs authorities around the world to seize the products transferring illegally around the world.

The men were alleged to be part of an organised crime group shipping fake goods from theFar East, re-producing products from brands including Nike, Uggs, Gucci, Adidas, Versace, Ralph Lauren and GHD.

People can get charged with offences including money laundering and offences under the Trademarks Act 1994.

Fake tobacco funds crime

People who make and sell fake fags are criminals. Those involved in distributing counterfeit tobacco are sometimes involved in other types of crime too.


Child labour

Fake tobacco harm you

Fake fags have been found to contain more tar and nicotine than genuine cigarettes.

Tests on counterfeit tobacco products have also found them to contain nasties including sawdust, rat droppings and beetles. You don’t need to be a scientist to work out that this can’t be good for you!

Fake fags are sold to kids

Fake cigarettes and tobacco are sold illegally through unauthorised outlets. Some of these outlets sell fags to our kids.

General surveyed found that of the 22% of 14 to 17-year-olds that class themselves as smokers, up to 50% said they had bought fake fags in the past.

How fake money is distributed

Organised criminals involved in making fake money are increasingly working together. One group may produce counterfeit notes, while others may finish, distribute or sell them.

In order to get counterfeit banknotes into circulation, large batches are broken down for distribution, usually by middle-men and street-level criminals to distance the producers from risk. The distributors either pay for the counterfeit money up front or pay a percentage of the profit back to the producer.

Help fight fake money

Dealing in fakes is wrong and harms us all – it isn’t a victimless crime. It isn’t fair that local businesses and individuals lose money at the hands of counterfeiters.  If you know who is making and selling fake money, you can do something to stop it.