CBP warns holiday shoppers after seizing over $30M worth of fake designer bags, clothes at L.A., Long Beach ports

Local news
  • CBP in Los Angeles  on Dec. 2, 2021 released this image of counterfeit designer bags that arrived in a cargo shipment from China.
  • CBP in Los Angeles  on Dec. 2, 2021 released this image of counterfeit
  • CBP in Los Angeles  on Dec. 2, 2021 released this image of counterfeit designer bags that arrived in a cargo shipment from China.

Officers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach seized 13,586 counterfeit designer items that arrived in a cargo shipment from China,  U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Thursday

The shipment seized on Nov. 9 had fake Gucci, Chanel, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton bags, shirts and pants, according to the agency.

Had they been genuine, the seized items would have a combined retail price of more than $30 million, CBP said.

After the seizure, officials warned holiday shoppers about the risks of buying counterfeit goods.

“Bad actors exploit e-commerce operations by selling counterfeit and unsafe goods through online platforms, particularly during the holiday season when shoppers are looking for deals,” said Donald Kusser, Port Director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.

Officials said the rise of e-commerce has made it easier to hide behind seemingly legitimate listings on well-known websites.

“The sale of counterfeit commodities multiplies the illegal profits of smugglers and traffickers who reinvest the proceeds from such sales into further criminal enterprises,” CBP warned.

Last year, CBP seized 26,503 shipments nationwide containing counterfeit goods, together estimated to be worth nearly $1.3 billion had they been genuine.

The agency offered shoppers these tips to make sure they don’t accidentally buy counterfeit goods:

  • Buy the item directly from the trademark holder or 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.
  • Remember that if the price of a product seems too good to be true, it probably is.

More tips are available on CBP’s E-Commerce Counterfeit Awareness Guide for Consumers.

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