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October 17, 2011

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Watchdogs on the trail of clone website scam

FAKE websites masquerading as official sites of luxury brands in a bid to dupe customers into buying bogus products are being targeted by local watchdog inspections.

Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau officials said most of the e-commerce websites registered in Shanghai that they have already inspected are operated properly.

But they warned consumers that some websites registered in other areas are fakes.

Over the weekend, China Central Television revealed several cases. In one instance in Chongqing, a website resembled the official site of a foot massage machine company and sold fake products.

Following a complaint from a customer, Chongqing consumers' rights officials discovered that the site was bogus. The only difference was the product's price - 400 yuan (US$62) lower than that on the genuine site.

"Few consumers check a website address carefully," said officials.

In Nanchang, in Jiangxi Province, a website copied the official Louis Vuitton website - down to an introduction and history of the brand - to sell fake LV products.

Police discovered that all the LV products sold there were fake. The owner of the website said he could make 300 percent profits, provided he had a genuine-looking website, reported CCTV.

The Shanghai bureau said it launched its campaign last month. It only covers websites registered in Shanghai and the results are, so far, satisfactory, bureau officials said.


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