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CBP, HSI Warn Consumers Ahead of Holiday Shopping Season

Release Date: 
November 10, 2015

Fake, unsafe products may not be worth the savings

HOUSTON – U. S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations officials warn shoppers Nov. 6 to be wary when looking for holiday deals.

These tiny toddler shoes were seized for containing small parts posing a choking hazard.

These tiny toddler shoes were seized for containing small parts posing a choking hazard.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have traditionally been big shopping days for consumers.

“Every year, criminal organizations prey on unsuspecting consumers who are looking for great bargains during the holiday day season,” said Houston CBP Seaport Assistant Port Director Leslie Luczkowski.  “Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers who are searching for that great gift should also be aware that some of those great finds may not meet their expectation and that those items are actually funding well-organized criminal organizations.”

Protecting intellectual property rights is a priority trade issue.  CBP has developed a multi-layered strategic approach to IPR enforcement which includes intelligence and information sharing as well as leveraging technology such as e-Recordation, a web-based tool CBP uses to access trademarks and copyrights.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers demonstrate how a shipment is examined.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers demonstrate how a shipment is examined.

CBP protects businesses and consumers by seizing products that infringe trademarks, copyrights, and patents.  In fiscal year 2014, there were 23,140 intellectual property rights seizures with a manufacturer’s suggested retail value of $1.2 billion with goods from China accounting for 63% of the total manufacturer’s suggested retail value for all IPR seizures.  Wearing apparel was the top seized commodity in fiscal year 2014.

Consumers who suspect that a business or internet site is trafficking in counterfeit goods, should call 1-866-477-2060 or email IPRCenter@dhs.gov

Last modified: 
February 9, 2017