Watch out for fake designer bags this holiday season: customs

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United States customs and border officials have found more than 13,500 counterfeit designer products on a cargo ship.

United States Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials found 13,586 counterfeit branded goods on a cargo ship that arrived at the Port of Los Angeles / Long Beach from China, according to a press release from the agency.

That shipment included fake handbags, shoulder bags, tote bags, backpacks, shoulder bags, shirts and pants with the brands Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton, according to the release.

If the same amount of merchandise were genuine, it could have been worth approximately $ 30,437,775. Counterfeit products can end up being sold on illegitimate websites and “underground outlets,” the statement said.

“Bad actors exploit e-commerce operations by selling counterfeit and dangerous products on online platforms, especially during the holiday season when shoppers are looking for deals,” said Donald R. Kusser, Port Manager of Los Angeles / Long Beach Seaport, in press release. Release.

Kusser warned buyers that “if the price of the product seems too good to be true, it probably is.” He added that low-quality products could even be made from hazardous materials, the statement said.

Counterfeit products can also be made with poor stitching, poor quality materials, incorrectly sized logos, fragile fabrics and printing errors on the products, the statement said.

CBP recommends several tips to avoid purchasing a counterfeit product. The agency said customers should purchase items from authorized retailers, read seller reviews and look for a US phone number or email that can be used to contact the seller, and beware of prices that look unbelievable. . The agency also has a counterfeiting awareness guide intended for consumers.

The guide warns that counterfeit products can have a negative impact on the economy and even have legal implications.

This story was originally published 2 December 2021 7:00 p.m.

Vandana Ravikumar is a McClatchy Real-Time reporter. She grew up in northern Nevada and studied journalism and political science at Arizona State University. Previously, she reported for USA Today, The Dallas Morning News and Arizona PBS.