Fake Designer Goods Displayed at Customs and Border Protection's Brickell Office

The handbags and jewelry were all intercepted during the past fiscal year

By David Jeannot
|  Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012  |  Updated 6:53 PM EDT
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If the price tag on your favorite handbags or merchandise looks too good to be true, Vernon Foret says, chances are that you're dealing with something that's counterfeit. Foret, the director of field operations for Miami Customs and Border Protection, and import specialist George Bush spoke about the issue.

If the price tag on your favorite handbags or merchandise looks too good to be true, Vernon Foret says, chances are that you're dealing with something that's counterfeit. Foret, the director of field operations for Miami Customs and Border Protection, and import specialist George Bush spoke about the issue.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials showed a bevy of handbags, jewelry and electronics at their Brickell office Tuesday – all fake, and intercepted during the past fiscal year.

If the price tag on your favorite handbags or merchandise looks too good to be true, Vernon Foret says, chances are that you’re dealing with something that’s counterfeit.

“The theft of intellectual property and the trade in counterfeit and pirated goods threatens America’s economy, the competitiveness of our businesses, the livelihoods of U.S. workers, and in some cases national security and the health and safety of our consumers,” said Foret, who is the director of field operations for Miami Customs and Border Protection.

CPB says that in fiscal 2012 it seized just over 1,000 shipments of goods with intellectual property violations, with a retail value estimated at $60 million.

“In fact very few locations, including Los Angeles and New York, sees more counterfeit goods in terms of value than we do right here in Miami,” Foret said.

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One of the easiest ways to find a fake is by looking at the logo.

“So if you just take your time, look at the merchandise a little closely, you’ll be able to pick out something some of the time,” said George Bush, an import specialist.

Foret said that consumers “shouldn’t see the counterfeit goods in your legitimate, higher-end, reputable stores that you frequent on a daily basis.”

“What we are looking for, though, are those products that are making it into what might be not the most reputable (businesses),” he said.

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