Federal Counterfeiting Review Includes ACEF Concerns  

E-commerce platforms and third-party markets sell counterfeit U.S. coins and precious metals, and counterfeiters profit from the growing number of victims.  

Doug Davis, head of anti-counterfeiting for the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation, said victims across the country are falling prey to dishonest marketing practices that cost them money. “For counterfeiters, production costs are low, millions of potential customers are online, payment options are plentiful, and listing goods on Facebook and Amazon lend legitimacy.”  

Annual federal reports, such as the Department of Homeland Security report on “Combating Trafficking in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods,” address pirated goods, but none mention the rise in counterfeit coins and precious metals entering the U.S.  

The US Trade Representative (USTR) announced its 2021 Review of Notorious Markets for Counterfeiting and Piracy (Notorious Markets List) on Feb. 22. In a nine-page Oct. 21, 2021, statement, ACEF expressed concerns about counterfeits' effects on the numismatic community, the public, and the U.S. monetary system.  

The comments discussed ACEF's mission and the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force's strategic initiatives, including public awareness and educational and investigative resources for dealers, collectors, and law enforcement on counterfeit coinage and precious metals. Through its Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, ACEF collaborates with the Treasury Department Office of Inspector General, Secret Service, and Customs and Border Protection.  

ACEF named Facebook, Aliexpress.com, Amazon, and eBay physical markets. ACEF also showed how collectors, investors, and the public are being victimized. ACTF investigators found several e-commerce platforms selling counterfeit coins and precious metals using the logos of legitimate dealers and numismatic organizations like the ANA, ICTA, PNG, and US Mint.  

ANA, ICTA, and PNG indicated that they had not authorized the platforms under investigation by ACTF to market counterfeit goods. Illegal misrepresentation adds validity but violates the entities' Intellectual Property Rights and can cause reputation and financial damages now and in the future.  

The Notorious Markets List lists online and offline markets that allegedly participate in or enable trademark counterfeiting or copyright theft. The report includes ACEF's nine-page reply. The comments provide an in-depth educational review of the current spread of counterfeit U.S. coins and precious metals on e-commerce platforms and imported into the US.  

ACTF work is funded completely by donations to the non-profit ACEF. Any donation helps protect collectors, dealers, and the public from counterfeits.

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