Buying a designer handbag for Mother’s Day? Beware of counterfeits, US customs officials warn

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US Customs and Border Protection warned consumers about scammers selling counterfeit designer products ahead of Mother’s Day. According to the agency, handbags, wallets, clothing, shoes and jewelry are among the items most at risk of counterfeiting.

“Still haven’t decided what to get your mom for Mother’s Day? Don’t just select the first internet search as you may be ordering fake earrings,” CBP Chicago tweeted.

The alert comes as CBP officials continue to detect counterfeit products entering the US from overseas. On April 25, customs officials seized two large shipments of 65 counterfeit handbags arriving on flights from China and the Philippines. The purses contained brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Christian Dior, Hermes and Goyard and were on their way to residents in California.

Import specialists determined that the handbags violated CBP’s trademark and copyright codes due to their quality and packaging. If they were real, the purses would have had an estimated retail price of $166,045, according to CBP.

On April 4, officers seized a shipment from the Philippines containing two large Hermes tea sets en route to a Texas resident. Due to the sets’ appearance and packaging, import specialists believed the items to be counterfeit. They would have been worth an estimated $4,000 if they were real.

On May 2, Louisville customs officials announced that a shipment of counterfeit Gucci wallets valued at an estimated $702,000 would have been confiscated had they been genuine. And on May 6, Louisville officials seized 2,038 Chanel earrings that would have been worth an estimated $509,000 if they were real.

Ahead of Mother’s Day, when consumers are expected to spend a total of $31.7 billion on gifts, officials recommended consumers pay close attention to the quality of the items they are purchasing and buy goods directly from brand owners or authorized retailers.

CBP warned that counterfeit products could have a negative impact on the US economy, be unsafe for consumers and support criminal ventures by scammers such as human trafficking and money laundering.

“Be safe and buy mom the right thing for her special day,” CBP said.

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