Thanks to Good Morning America millions more brides - and grooms - are now wiser when it comes to buying a high price rip off rather than a real designer wedding gown. GMA aired a segment today called "Wedding Dresses Online Here Comes the Fakes". In case you missed it, click here to watch a video clip. The cautionary tale warns brides shopping on the Internet for a good deal to be aware of unscrupulous websites based in China. These slick sites scam shoppers by illegally use a designer original photos -and even names - to market and sell the dress on the Internet. But what arrives, in many cases, is a cheap imitation that looks nothing like the authentic dress. Unfortunately, this happens every day. And not just for brides. Girls shopping for Prom dresses buy what they think is going to be an exact replica of a dress by an American designer only to get sent a shoddy knockoff made of inferior fabric that fits poorly.
As many of you already know, I have been active in the cyber fight to stop counterfeit websites from using photos of Sydney's Closet designs our name to sell cheap imitations of our real glam gowns. I have dedicated a member of the Sydney's Closet Fashion Team monitoring the Internet for sites that use images of our dresses without permission. When they do find one, they file a complaint with Google under a federal law that protects our intellectual property. I also serve on the Board of Directors for the American Bridal and Prom Industry Association, an industry group featured in the GMA story today. ABPIA is making it a federal case to fight the counterfeit sites. And I thrilled to let you know we just won a major court victory. A federal judge in New Jersey recently ordered about 1,100 of the counterfeit sites to stop knocking off wedding gowns and Prom dresses designed by American apparel companies. The court also froze bank accounts held by these sites and went a step further by seizing the domains. Effectively, the rulings shut the counterfeit sites named in the lawsuit. But the cyber battle is far from over. There are thousands more sites running the same scams. We've only just begun our legal fight against knockoff designer gowns. ABPIA intends to keep suing in federal court to shut down these sites and bar the owners from popping up other sites under different names. So before you say "yes" to a wedding or Prom dress online
, do your homework. Make sure the website or the store where you are shopping is an Authorized Retailer for the designer. It's easy. Just go to the designer's website and check the store locator
. If you don't see their name listed, you can conclude that the website or store is not authorized to sell the real deal. That means you're going to get a fake. If you get a dress at all! Remember, be a wise consumer. Keep in mind that if it's too good of a deal to be true, then it most likely is not!