Counterfeit Investigation & Brand Protection Services
RQA have a highly experienced global network of specialist consultants and investigators who can assist companies to assess the risk of counterfeiting of their products, advise on anti-counterfeiting strategies, lead covert investigations into illicit trading of branded products and counterfeit operations and act as product expert at raids on suspected counterfeiting and illicit trading operations to support prosecutions.
RQA, Inc. is an Investigative Firm Member of the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition and our consultants have operated in, and had successful convictions in, 80 countries.
For more details on covert investigations, counterfeit and illicit trading risk assessments and prevention strategies, and how RQA can assist with an incident see below or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0)118 935 7242.
Counterfeit Risk Assessment and Prevention Strategies
- Brand Protection Risk assessment – identifying brands within your product range that could be a target and assessing how vulnerable they are to counterfeiting.
- Anti-Counterfeiting strategy – developing an anti-counterfeiting strategy that supports your brand protection programme by:
- Recommending appropriate overt and covert security marks on the packaging
- Assessing and developing strategies to protect the supply chain
- Developing a contingency plan which lays out the steps to be taken in the event of a counterfeiting incident
- Supply chain checks – visiting various points in your supply chain including warehouses and distribution centres to assess your product at each stage and identify if any counterfeit product is evident.
- Manufacturing checks – identify counterfeit risks in manufacturing locations, e.g. label control, security etc.
Covert Investigation and Law Enforcement
- Covert investigations – tracking the counterfeit goods back through the supply chain to identify who is distributing it and where the fake goods are being manufactured.
- Port monitoring – using a network of sources in ports, provide timely and accurate intelligence in respect of containers suspected to be loaded with counterfeit branded and illicitly traded products.
- Investigation techniques – RQA’s investigators utilise a number of techniques depending upon the situation including recruiting covert human intelligence sources, on-line research, static and mobile surveillance, on the ground investigations relating to the supply chain, social media communications to initiate dialog and gain trust.
- Liaise with and assist relevant law enforcement authorities – in respect of the lawful seizure, detention and destruction of counterfeit and illicitly traded branded products.
- Tracking containers – suspected of being loaded with counterfeit and illicitly traded branded products.
- Investigative visits and test purchases – from identified wholesalers, retailers, outlets or entities involved in the illicit trade and suspected of selling/offering counterfeit branded products and illicitly traded branded products where consumer complaints had been received.
- Advice – we offer advice, support and field action if you suspect that your brand is being counterfeited or illicitly traded.
- Consumer collection – arrange for the collection of suspected counterfeit products from consumers following a consumer complaint.
- Market sweep – visit a small sample (e.g. 50 stores) in a counterfeit hotspot following complaints to assess the scale of the situation.
- Large scale retailer checks – visiting hundreds or thousands of stores checking product on the shelves within retailers for counterfeit or illicitly traded product and removing non-genuine product.
- Purchase of counterfeit products – from the identified manufacturer. This is done by covert operatives and the product purchased is secured as evidence in support of prosecution. Where possible, photographs of the manufacturing operation will be taken covertly.
- Raids on warehouses – manufacturing sites and other suspect facilities can be organised in conjunction with local police or relevant authorities with the aim of collecting evidence and prosecuting offenders. If you get reports from a specific market that your products are being counterfeited, we can carry out small or large-scale test purchases or market withdrawals and carry out covert investigations to identify the distributors and manufacturers of the counterfeit products. Once identified, RQA investigators will arrange a purchase of products direct from the manufacturer. The RQA investigators will then liaise with the local law enforcement authorities and arrange for the suspect premises to be raided. A Senior RQA investigator will attend the raid. All evidence is secured and fully traceable to enable the authorities to follow through with a prosecution. This is a highly effective way of disrupting the counterfeiters and thereby protecting the integrity of your products and the safety of your consumers.
- Returned stock – assessing stock that has come back into your warehouse following an incident to filter out counterfeit or illicitly traded product so that genuine stock can be sold and counterfeit goods are destroyed securely or retained for prosecution.
During an investigation, RQA will keep the client regularly informed of activity and progress, and will ensure that each step of the process is costed and approved. This enables the client to remain in control of the costs and see the benefits of the investigation.