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CBP, Homeland Security in NYC Warn About Counterfeit Ahead of Holiday Season

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What to Know

  • Just in time for the holiday shopping madness, HSI and CBP held a joint media event Thursday about counterfeit goods and how consumers can protect themselves from purchasing “knockoffs” of brand-name items.
  • Every year, CBP seizes counterfeit products from all over the world.  In the fiscal year 2020, CBP seized over 27,000 shipments of counterfeit goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights worth over $3.3 billion, had the goods been authentic.
  • The theft of intellectual property and the trade in counterfeit goods threaten America’s economy, stifle innovation and are a danger to consumer health and safety, as well as fund criminal activities and organized crime, the CBP said.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New York is sounding the alarm on counterfeit goods ahead of the holiday season.

Just in time for the holiday shopping madness, HSI and CBP held a joint media event Thursday about counterfeit goods and how consumers can protect themselves from purchasing “knockoffs” of brand-name items.

“CBP’s primary mission is to protect our nation while facilitating legitimate travel and trade.  This includes protecting consumers from unsafe goods.  We execute this mission by partnering with industry, HSI, other federal agencies and foreign governments to detect and intercept cross-border trade in these harmful and dangerous illicit goods,” said Frank Russo, Director of CBP’s New York Field Office.  “The risks associated with purchasing counterfeit good are sizable. The lower prices you pay may come with a high cost to you and your family.” 

Every year, CBP seizes counterfeit products from all over the world.  In the fiscal year 2020, CBP seized over 27,000 shipments of counterfeit goods that violated Intellectual Property Rights worth over $3.3 billion, had the goods been authentic.

“This holiday season, shoppers should be on the lookout for potentially hazardous products while hunting for the best deals online. From the dangers of faulty electronics to tainted personal care products, counterfeit goods put your safety at risk at the cost of hard-earned money. Buying from dubious websites can also put your personal and financial information at risk as you may hand over your most sensitive private information to fraudsters. If a deal seems too good to be true, it very likely is,” said Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Marina Vides.

The theft of intellectual property and the trade in counterfeit goods threaten America’s economy, stifle innovation and are a danger to consumer health and safety, the CBP said.

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Additionally, according to CBP, these types of activities fund criminal activities and support trans-national organized crime. 

CBP has established the “Truth Behind Counterfeits” educational campaign.

If you have any information regarding suspected fraud or illegal trade activity, please contact CBP through the e-Allegations Online Trade Violation Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT.  IPR violations can also be reported to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center.

Source: NBC New York

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