Seaport officials seized $1 billion worth of counterfeit products in 2022, marking a new record.
Officials with the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport hit the historic mark on Sept. 15, hitting the record number in less than a year.
The most popular counterfeit items include apparel, accessories, handbags, wallets, footwear, watches, jewelry, and consumer electronics.
Images released from the bust featured a bounty of fake designer goods including Nike Dunks, handbags from Chanel and Louis Vuitton, Gucci slides, Burberry scarves and plenty of fake apparel, cologne, wallets and more.
The $1 billion amount reflects the estimated total manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the seized goods if they were genuine.
Authorities say the accessibility of online shopping has made it quite easy to sell counterfeit designer goods.
“Historically, illegal actors have sold counterfeit products on illegitimate websites and in underground outlets,” authorities said. “However, the rise of e-commerce offers a haven for criminals who are now able to hide behind seemingly legitimate listings on well-known websites.”
Things to watch out for to avoid being scammed with counterfeit goods:
- Purchase goods directly from authorized retailers.
- When shopping online, read seller reviews and check for a working U.S. phone number and address that can be used to contact the seller.
- If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Counterfeit items are often inferior quality and may feature poor/uneven stitching, fragile fabrics, and improperly sized or designed logos.
- Peeling labels, low-quality ink or printing errors on the packaging are also signs.
“This milestone asserts the exceptional skill, vigilance and keen focus of our trade enforcement teams at our nation’s largest seaport complex,” said Donald R. Kusser, Port Director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport. “Every day they protect American consumers from the fraudulent traps unscrupulous smugglers place on unsuspecting buyers.”