The Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) and the International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC) today announced an alliance to help identify and prevent the sale of counterfeit goods through the IACC Payment Processor Portal Program. A collaborative effort between the IACC and the payment industry, the Payment Processor Portal provides a system for intellectual property rights-holders, such as manufacturers of luxury goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals, and consumer products, to report the sale of illegal counterfeit goods. “Counterfeiting is an issue that impacts a wide variety of industries,” said Barry Koch, chief compliance officer at Western Union. “The IACC Payment Processor Portal is a powerful tool that is already making a significant impact. This alliance is one of the many ways Western Union helps support the integrity of intellectual property rights-holders.” Once the IACC verifies a merchant claim, a third-party monitoring agent alerts affected payment processors, like Western Union, enabling them to take necessary actions. This service will assist Western Union in identifying rogue merchants who sell counterfeit materials and who encourage buyers to send payments using Western Union Money Transfer ® services. “We are proud to have Western Union join in our efforts to disband illegal online merchants who pose a threat to both the integrity of brands and the safety of consumers,” said Bob Barchiesi, president of the IACC. “An effective way to stop the illegal trade of counterfeit goods is to disrupt the merchant’s ability to receive payment.” According to the IACC, as e-commerce continues to grow, incidents of counterfeit and pirated goods sold online have spiked, creating an attractive environment for illegal sales and an ever-widening pool of potential customers. By 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce estimates that $1.7 trillion in counterfeit goods will have infiltrated international markets. Online shopping carries its own set of risks and consumers should do their research before committing to a purchase. The IACC recommends the following tips to help consumers avoid purchasing counterfeit goods:
- If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is.
- Indicators that a product is not what it purports to be include materials that look substandard or packaging that contains misspellings.
- Consider the website where the product is being sold. If the site looks poorly maintained and customer service is not responsive, it probably is not legitimate.
About Western UnionThe Western Union Company (NYSE: WU) is a leader in global payment services. Together with its Vigo, Orlandi Valuta, Pago Facil and Western Union Business Solutions branded payment services, Western Union provides consumers and businesses with fast, reliable and convenient ways to send and receive money around the world, to send payments and to purchase money orders. As of March 31, 2013, the Western Union, Vigo and Orlandi Valuta branded services were offered through a combined network of approximately 515,000 agent locations in 200 countries and territories and approximately 100,000 ATMs. In 2012, The Western Union Company completed 231 million consumer-to-consumer transactions worldwide, moving $79 billion of principal between consumers, and 432 million business payments. For more information, visit www.westernunion.com. About the IACC The IACC is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization devoted to combating product counterfeiting and piracy. Formed in 1979, the IACC is comprised of a cross section of business and industry from the automotive, apparel, pharmaceutical, software, entertainment, and consumer products sectors, including many of the world’s best-known brands. The touchstone of the IACC’s mission is to combat counterfeiting and piracy by promoting laws, regulations, and directives designed to render the theft of intellectual property undesirable and unprofitable. WU-G WU-F