Avoid from purchasing counterfeit gifts this holiday season

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 5:31 PM CST
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LAREDO, TX (KGNS) - With the holiday shopping season expected to kick off this Friday, federal agents are reminding consumers to keep an eye out for counterfeit and pirated merchandise.

Last year, the most popular seizure for counterfeit items was clothing, shoes, watches, jewelry and even Covid-19 tests.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the best way to prevent being scammed is to make sure you purchase items from legitimate stores or vendors and to always inspect the product before opening it.

CBP import specialist Christina Vidal states that when shoppers buy from unofficial vendors, they are contributing to their illegal business.

“When a person buys something like that that is a knockoff of a name brand, they are supporting organized crime so all that money goes back to the drug cartels, and stuff like that so it’s very important to be a prudent consumer and know what you are buying. You need to check the labels, you need to know the price of whatever it is that you are buying,” said Vidal.

During the World Cup season, Vidal said that they are seeing an increase in counterfeit soccer jerseys.

Those who are caught selling fake merchandise could face a civil penalty all the way up to a criminal prosecution.

Officials say that if the deal sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t a viable option.

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