News item

Scambusters warning: No medals for counterfeiters

The national trading standards e Crime team based in York have issued a warning to Olympic fans after launching an investigation into the supply of ‘fake’ medals from an internet auction site.  The medals, which cost up to £29 each, bear unauthorised copies of the five rings logos and are mocked up to resemble the real thing.

Colin Rumford from the eCrime Team said: “This is a cynical attempt to exploit consumers and defraud legitimate business.  Whilst no one is likely to be fooled into believing they are the genuine item the price being charged represents ridiculously poor value for money. 

"This is a blatant breach of the intellectual property rights of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and undermines the investment that legitimate businesses have contributed to making the games a success.”

Councillor Dafydd Williams, Cabinet member for Crime and Stronger Communities said: “ We would urge anyone buying such products  on the internet to be wary and if they have any concerns to get in touch with the Trading Standards eCrime Team.“

The Olympic brand is protected under copyright, design right, passing off and trade descriptions legislation. Protection for these valuable rights is not new, the Olympic Symbol (Protection) Act 1995 provided for a Olympic Association Right which may be infringed when the Olympic Symbol,  the word Olympic or similar words are used without authorisation in the course of trade.

A significant proportion of staging the Olympics is  being met by sponsorship, the IOC and their national representatives, the London Organising Committee of the Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) vigorously defend their intellectual property against unauthorised use.


Notes to editors:

1. The national trading standards eCrime Team is part of a new initiative set up to tackle on-line consumer scams and rogue trading.  The team is operated by a partnership of City of York Council,  North Yorkshire County Council and the East of England Trading Standards Association (EETSA) and is funded by a government grant from the National Trading Standards Board (NTSB).
For further information on the eCrime Team please contact Mike Andrews, National e-Crime Co-ordination Manager
at North Yorkshire County Council on 01609 534901/  07807083774  or Colin Rumford from the Yorkshire and the Humber Trading Standards Group Scambuster Team, on 01904 551847.

2. The National Trading Standards Board (NTSB) is a group of senior and experienced local government heads of trading standards, representing all trading standards services across England and Wales. The Board has been set up by the Government to improve enforcement of laws intended to tackle rogue traders operating both regionally and nationally and who cause harm to consumers and legitimate businesses.

For further information on NTSB contact: Wendy Martin 07982 418423 or David Collinson 01603 222253