MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fifteen locally-based websites were among the 150 shut down in a pre-holiday crackdown targeting sites selling counterfeit and pirated merchandise.
According to the Department of Homeland Security and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, the sites were seized in anticipation of Cyber Monday, which is thought of as one of the most significant online shopping days of the year.
“For most, the holidays represent a season of good will and giving, but for these criminals, it’s the season to lure in unsuspecting holiday shoppers,” said ICE Director John Morton. “The illicit profits made from these types of illegal ventures often fuel other kinds of organized crime.”
The domains that were seized are currently being held by the federal government.
Since the departments began targeting sites selling illegal materials, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center has seized about 350 domain names.