Counterfeit product warning for shoppers in Illinois

Local News

CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — As people are busy buying last-minute Christmas presents, federal law enforcement warned shoppers about counterfeit items.

At the Port of Chicago, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confiscated merchandise over the year. Some of the fake items are coming in large and small shipments from overseas. Many arrive from China, the Philippines and parts of Africa.

Federal officials said the counterfeit goods impacted the economy and the global supply chain, as well as creating a safety risk.

Experts said the safety risk comes from people not knowing what the products are made of, and if they are a fire hazard.

“You can just feel the quality of a product and when you know it’s supposed to be leather and it feels like plastic, it’s a good indication that it’s a fake product,” said Steve Campbell, the Chicago Area Port Director. “The truth is, when you’re buying something online and your buying through eBay and you’re buying a handbag that normally costs $1,500 and you’re paying $50 for it, it’s a fake bag.”

The Border Patrol said that the Port of Chicago seized almost $8 million worth of counterfeit merchandise in the last year.

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