CBP: Buy Mom the Real Deal for Mother’s Day!

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CINCINNATI —Mother’s Day is fast approaching and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is urging consumers to purchase their Mother’s Day gifts from legitimate retailers to avoid being scammed by illegitimate manufacturers. On April 25, CBP officers seized two large shipments of counterfeit handbags that arrived from China and the Philippines in two separate fights. The shipments contained a total of 65 fake purses, including all high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Christian Dior, Hermes and Goyard. The purses were on their way to various residents in California.

With Mother’s Day this weekend, CBP officials in Cincinnati
do their part to save fake Mother’s Day gifts,
​​​​​​so, from the market.

The handbags were deemed by CBP import specialists to violate the CBP trademark and copyright codes due to the quality and packaging of the handbags. Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Christian Dior, Hermes and Goyard all have trademarks on their brands and have registered those trademarks with CBP. Had the bags been genuine, they would have had a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $166,045.

On April 4, CBP officers seized a shipment containing two large Hermes tea sets. The tea sets came from the Philippines on their way to a resident in Mission, Texas. The tea sets were determined to be counterfeit by the CBP import specialist based on the tea sets’ appearance and packaging. These high-end tea sets would have had a MSRP of $4,000.00 if the sets were genuine.

“These are just a few examples of the work our officials are doing to protect consumers and the US economy,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director, Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “As consumers increasingly shop from online or third-party retailers, our employees are on the front lines to protect themselves from scammers who expect to make money from selling counterfeit goods.”

As e-commerce continues to grow rapidly, CBP officials are steadfast in securing our country’s borders and protecting the US economy from illegal manufacturers. In fiscal year 2021, CBP officers seized 2,060 shipments of counterfeit goods from Cincinnati that would have been worth over $146,000,000 had they been genuine.

Counterfeit goods are having a negative impact on the US economy,” said Richard Gillespie, Port of Cincinnati director. “Fraudsters use their profits from counterfeit goods to fund and support their criminal endeavors such as human trafficking and money laundering. Our officials are doing an excellent job of preventing these illegal shipments from entering our economy.”

Recent seizures of counterfeit goods in Cincinnati in April include:

  • Fake Cartier Love bracelet worth $47,000.
  • 20 fake handbags and purses worth $41,875.
  • Delivery of 190 pair of Oakley sunglasses valued at $29,000.

CBP data shows that handbags, wallets, clothing, shoes, watches, jewelry and consumer electronics are at higher risk of counterfeiting. Counterfeit versions of popular brands are regularly sold on online marketplaces and flea markets.

The quality of the goods that Cincinnati officials ban is inferior to the original quality sold by legitimate manufacturers. Buying inferior goods from online third-party sellers is dangerous and exposes buyers to security risks. CBP recommends paying close attention to the quality of items purchased and looking out for misprints, cheap packaging, low-quality materials used, and below-average prices. All of these are signs that the items purchased may be counterfeit.

Consumers can take simple steps to protect themselves and their families from counterfeit products:

  • Buy goods directly from the brand owner or from authorized retailers.
  • When shopping online, read seller ratings and make sure you have a working US phone number and address to contact the seller.
  • Read the CBP guide on raising awareness of counterfeiting in e-commerce for consumers.
  • Remember that if a product’s price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Play it safe and buy mom the real deal for her special day!

To report suspected counterfeiting, visit CBP’s online e-Allegations portal or call 1-800-BE-ALERT. For more information on counterfeit goods, visit CBP’s Fake Goods, Real Dangers website and StopFakes.gov.

Follow CBP on Twitter @CBPChicago and @DFOChicago.

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