Fake Apple Watches and wireless headphones worth nearly $400,000 were recently seized at Ontario International Airport and the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A total of 1,200 pairs of wireless headphones and 220 wrist wearable devices were seized for apparently infringing Apple’s registered copyrights and trademarks. If genuine, the items would have had an estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $396,812, according to CBP.
The products arrived in six individual shipments via air cargo to the airport and a maritime container to the seaport. They were all seized during a one-week period in mid-July, officials detailed.
The fake items were concealed in generic packaging, and illicitly manifested as generic headphones.
Fake Apple products lack the advance features found in genuine ones, such as active noise cancellation, water resistance and seamless integration with Apple devices, officials explained.
“Because they look and feel incredibly similar to legitimate Apple products, consumers are easily deceived by scammers,” Carlos C. Martel, CBP director of field operations in Los Angeles, said. “Intercepting fraudulent import products is a top priority for CBP, we protect consumers and the economy every single day.”
Officials warn that buying counterfeits on illegitimate websites could expose consumers to internet security risks, from malware or ransomware to compromising users’ personal data and financial information shared during the purchase.
“It is a lose-lose proposition while it may seem innocent, the money you spend on counterfeit products often funds criminal activity, from forced labor, human and drug trafficking, to violent crime,” Donald R. Kusser, CBP port director of the LA/LB Seaport, said.
Last year, CBP officials seized nearly 21,000 shipments containing 25 million individual goods that violated intellectual property rights across the country, the agency said. Consumer electronics represented 3.7% of the total seizure lines.