Counterfeit Goods

Information and statistics about counterfeiting and the sale of counterfeit goods. Estimated losses from counterfeits, markets where fake goods are sold, and other piracy statistics are collected from criminal justice programs and public information sources.

According to a news article, the price of a fake Australian Passport on the Internet is $806 (600 Euros). For an extra $268 (200 Euros), the website will include fake ID cards and fake driver licenses.

A fake diploma from a university in Australia can be bought online for $249.

(Fake Diploma Information and Costs.)

Source:  Asher Moses, “Identities for sale: fake documentation on the rise,” Sydney Morning Herald, January 26, 2013.

A professional executive search consultant in Dubai reported to the media that there is an increase in resumes filled with fake diplomas and degrees.

The head hunter stated that fake degrees are sold for up to $8,167 (30,000 UAE Dirham). The forgers fill out the grade point average, the degree and the year it was obtained based on the customer’s request.

Source:  Amanda Fisher, “Faking their way to the top,” Khaleej Times, January 22, 2013.

Pirated ebooks in Spain caused the book industry  to lose up to $467 Million (€350 Million) in revenue, according to a report by the Federation of Publishers’ Associations and the ISBN Agency of Spain.

Book publishing in Spain is a €3 Billion industry.

(More statistics on pirated books and ebook piracy here.)

Source:  “Piracy Taking Big Bite out of Books in Spain?,” Digital Book World, January 22, 2013.

The United States Customs and Border Protection released their annual seizure statistics of counterfeit items for Fiscal Year 2012.

7,800 replica clothing items with a retail value of $133 Million was seized in 2012, down from the 8,094 fake items worth $142.3 Million in 2011.

$511 Million worth for replica handbags and wallets, $186.9 Million worth of replica watches and jewelry, and $103 Million worth of replica shoes were also seized by US Customs during the fiscal year.

Law enforcement agencies also took down 697 websites that were facilitating the sale of counterfeit goods online.

Source:  Sarah Karmali, “Number Of Counterfeit Fashion Seizures Down,” Vogue, January 21, 2013.

The regional manager for Virgin Megastore in Dubai stated that their industry believes that it losses between 20 to 30 percent of revenue due to counterfeiting and pirating activities in the Gulf Region.

Other companies in the region state that the loss to revenue could be as high as 60 percent due to counterfeiting.

In a single raid, investigators with the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry found nearly 17,000 counterfeit Swiss watches in a private apartment in Dubai.

Source:  Shane McGinley, “10,000 fake watches seized in Dubai raid,” Arabian Business, January 10, 2013.

According to a study conducted by the website, three-quarters of women admitted that they had knowing purchased a counterfeit fashion item. Over half of the respondents stated that they bought the fake product because they couldn’t afford the legitimate item, and 37 percent stated that they wanted to impress people with their fake item.

2,105 women answered questions in the poll.

Almost a third of the respondents bought replica handbags and wallets, and nearly 25 percent of the women bought a fake designer dress or replica clothing items. 20 percent bought jewelry or replica shoes.

Source:  Patricia Reaney, “In quest for designer look, U.S. women admit buying knockoffs,” Reuters, January 8, 2013.

Children who sell pirated copies of books on the streets of Mumbai, India are paid roughly $2 (100 Indian Rupee) for each book that they sell.

An essay published in the New York Times interviewed child who would sell three pirated books a day and thus was earning more money than his father, who was working as a plumber.

Most of the children who sell pirated books in India are unable to read.

(Income and earnings from the underground economy.)

Source:  Sonia Faleiro, “The Book Boys of Mumbai,” New York Times, January 4, 2013.

The United States Secret Service stated that it seized nearly $81 Million in Counterfeit US Dollars in Fiscal Year 2011-2012.

2,424 people were arrested during the fiscal year for counterfeiting US dollars.

Source:  Kim Severson, “On the Trail of a Counterfeiting Called “The Printer”,” New York Times, January 4, 2013.

According to the Motion Picture Association of America, businesses in the United States lose up to $58 Billion and 373,000 jobs a year due to movie piracy activities.

The figure is in dispute, as other researchers put the economic impact of movie piracy at a lower rate. One researcher at the Cato Institute estimates that the impact from pirated movies in the US is less than $500 Million.

Source:  Karl Taro Greenfeld, “Mr. Dodd Goes to Hollywood,” Bloomberg Businessweek, November 15, 2012.

UPDATE:  The MPAA has since backed away from this estimated. Click here for the latest estimated movie piracy losses.

Police in India broke up a criminal ring where 5 individuals were selling fake degrees and fake diploma certificates.  The forgers were selling the degrees at prices between $184 to $3,688 (10,000 to 200,000 Indian Rupees).

When arrested, the sellers had been operating for several years selling fake educational degrees, and police seized 580 fake degrees and diplomas at the time of the arrest.

Source:  “Fake degree certificate racket busted, five held,” Hindu, January 1, 2013.