CITO - MARKETING

Our services

• Deleting fake items and accounts in online shopping portals

Most plagiarised items can be found in online portals, such as eBay, Amazon, classifieds, or via smartphone apps, such as Kleiderkreisel or Shpock. Many sellers advertise their counterfeit products underneath authentic images. We utilise our experience to identify such selling activities and have them deleted from the corresponding portals.

• Deleting of the Internet addresses and deactivation of the hosting

In many cases, we take additional steps to have the online shop closed down completely. One of our exemplary achievements is the fact that legal pressure is exerted on the corresponding web hosting service / server centre to terminate the contract with the fake shop. That way, the “storage space” is being removed for fake websites, so that these homepages can now longer be stored and/or hosted. In case of especially tenacious sellers, we can utilise legal support on site and demand deleting the Internet address with the help of the corresponding courts (depending on the country extension of the domain). In this process, the domain is taken away from the old owner and passed on to the corresponding brand owners. There are additional legitimate way and methods to remove domains from sellers of counterfeit products.

• Deleting the back links and accounts in forums / blogs

An essential aspect of our services is “marketing cleaning” of fake sites. The homepage owners distribute links in forums more frequently to target potential interested parties directly but also to achieve a better Google ranking with back links. The significant advantage of our service is the fact that not only the link to the website is deleted but a link to the official homepage of the brand is provided instead.

We have had several instances where links leading to fake shopping pages have been deleted from various forums. And replaced with a special text informing of the lack of quality of counterfeit products and the benefits of original items. As this text includes a link to the original site of the brand, a back list is created which will also sustainably strengthen the Google ranking of the original site. This leads to a double-effect of marketing for the original brand: Not only is the counterfeit competition removed but it is also replaced by the brand’s own presence!

Our process

Sellers of fake products generally proceed with quite a bit of caution and utilise all types of security measures: Payments are handled anonymously via middlemen. The domain was generally purchased from a reseller and the hosting service comes from a pertinacious, foreign provider. Packages are sent with false sender addresses and emails of the brand owners ignored. How is it even possible to find the criminal backers?

Fortunately, every (seller) makes a mistake eventually!

We are not permitted to describe our knowledge and our processes in detail on the Internet. But here are some rough examples:

• Who Is query

A Who Is query tells us: which web hosting / server centre the domain user uses, where the domain was registered as well as the DNS server, and other contact information and data of the domain and its owner.

• Pressuring the hosting service

The online shop of the fake seller is generally stored on foreign servers, on hosters. Mostly, these are servers located in countries which do not cooperate closely with the European authorities. The servers are pertinacious and largely ignore reports of abuse from the original brands.

However, this is not the case with all hosting services. A significant part of the fake sites is hosted by services which will terminate the customer after reports of violations. From that moment on, the fake homepage is not visible and accessible until the seller has secured a new hoster. Frequently, the data and the database will no longer be available for the owner after the termination.

• E-mail to fake sellers

Sellers are only human who can make mistakes or fall into a trap.

A seller of counterfeit products must work carefully to conceal his/her identity. Domain, hosting service, and e-mail addresses are all based on false data. Supplemented by anonymous payment methods which are accepted almost everywhere as well as VPN / proxy servers to obscure the IP address. But in the end, these people are only human, and all humans make mistakes.

Rhetoric can be a dangerous weapon, as words alone can start to build trust. And trust, coupled with the prospects of additional earnings, cause people to step into traps.

We use different methods to entice the homepage owner to reveal a sliver of his/her true identity. Once we have secured the data of the seller, it is the choice of the brand owners whether they would like to pursue criminal charges. In some cases, it is sufficient to confront the seller with the evidence at hand and request deactivation of the website.

• Anti search machine optimization

Many users in forums and blogs openly ask for sites offering counterfeit products and receive the corresponding replies. Therefore, it is no surprise that queries for counterfeit items by fake sellers are being used for advertisement purposes. And the corresponding experiences on the sites right along with them. These links provide fake sites with a significant number of visitors and customers.

Our reaction to that kind of marketing can simply be described with the concept of "Anti"-SEO. We counter this strategy by having the links removed and warning of counterfeit products while praising the advantages of purchasing originals on the same subpage. This is supplemented by the link to the official site of the brand which strengthens then ranking of the official site.

Contact us anytime for more information about our work. Feel free to use the contact form, if you prefer.