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'Copycat' websites drive rise in fake products

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Trading Standards officers have reported a sharp rise in the number of copycat websites selling fake branded goods over the internet.

Bogus sites pass themselves off as the real thing with an almost identical design and a similar internet address.

"The number has just increased and increased," said Handley Brustad, lead officer, intellectual property at the Trading Standards Institute.

"They feed off the real brands and mirror the genuine site to pull you in."

Trading Standards now wants search engines like Google to do more to identify sites that sell counterfeit goods and remove them from their paid search results.

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