Consumers must beware of illegal traders who are increasingly using the internet to sell counterfeit and pirated goods, according to a new report published today by intellectual property (IP) minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe.

The IP Crime report shows how the UK government, law enforcement agencies and industry bodies are collaborating to address the threat posed by IP Crime - a coordinated response that highlights the level of threat this criminal activity now poses to UK businesses and consumers.

According to Trading Standards, there has been a 15% annual increase in the sale of counterfeit goods online, while 69% of local authorities have investigated IP crime on social media, 65% on online auction sites and 61% on other websites.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, a former director at the UK's largest retailer Tesco, said: "Criminals who steal work and ideas, or make and sell fake merchandise pose a real threat to jobs in the UK, and deceive consumers who want to know the goods they buy are the real thing.

"National and international efforts to fight this type of crime are yielding real results, through new specialist resources, greater collaboration and intervention by industry. It is vital that we keep fighting to bring intellectual property criminals to justice and make sure that consumers are alert to the risks."

Written by the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) on behalf of the UK IP Crime Group, the report provides details about the creation and impact of The City of London’s Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit, which has already investigated more than £28 million worth of IP crime and suspended more than 2,000 domain names in its first year.

It also suggests there has been greater intervention by industry to highlight breaches and defend their own intellectual property.

Click below for more information:

The Intellectual Property (IP) Crime report (available from 13:30, on 10 October 2014)