The number of websites selling fake designer shoes has exploded, resulting in shoppers being increasingly conned by the counterfeit sites.
Designer labels such as Manolo Blahnik and Jimmy Choo said there has been a rapid rise in the number of websites selling the fake goods in the last six months.
According to research from Bragitup.com, a website that recommends high-end fashion bargains, criminal gangs have set up websites that claim to be operated by the brands. Counterfeits of Christian Louboutin’s shoes are being offered on sites such as ChristianLouboutinLondon.com, where shoppers can purchase them for around 70 per cent below the asking price, which can be more than £400,
The sites use images of what appear to be genuine Louboutin’s shoes, but they are in fact made in factories in China, far away from the label’s Italian base.
Louboutin chief operating officer Alexis Mourot told The Daily Mail: “This has changed from being a minimal problem to a flood, in terms of these fake websites, in just the last six months.
“It is all coming out of China. These are not small workshops. This is organised and the money is going to criminals, the Mafia.”
Louboutin is working with customs in the UK and France and some websites have already been shut down, although are frequently soon replaced by others.