Buying a designer handbag for Mother’s Day? Beware of counterfeits, warn US customs officers

United States Customs and Border Protection warned scam consumers selling counterfeit designer goods before mothers day. According to the agency, handbags, wallets, clothing, shoes and jewelry are among the items most likely to be counterfeited.

“Still haven’t decided what to get mom for Mother’s Day? Don’t just pick the first internet search because you may be ordering counterfeit earrings,” CBP Chicago tweeted.

The warning comes as CBP officials continue to discover counterfeit products arriving in the United States from overseas. On April 25, customs officials seized two large shipments containing 65 fake handbags that arrived on flights from China and the Philippines. The handbags included brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Christian Dior, Hermès and Goyard, and were on their way to California residents.

Import specialists determined that the handbags violated CBP’s trademark and copyright codes due to their quality and packaging. If real, the handbags would have had an estimated retail price of $166,045, according to CBP.

Earlier on April 4, officials seized a shipment from the Philippines with two large Hermès tea sets en route to a Texas resident. Based on the appearance and packaging of the sets, import specialists deemed the items counterfeit. They would have had an estimated value of $4,000 if they had been real.

On May 2, Louisville customs officials announced the seizure of a shipment of fake Gucci handbags worth an estimated $702,000 if they had been real. And on May 6, Louisville officials seized 2,038 Chanel earrings that would have been worth around $509,000 if genuine.

Ahead of Mother’s Day, when consumers are expected to spend a total of $31.7 billion in freebies, officials advised consumers to pay close attention to the quality of purchased items and purchase goods directly from brand owners or authorized retailers.

CBP has warned that counterfeit products have a negative impact on the US economy, can be dangerous to consumers, and can support scammers’ criminal enterprises such as human trafficking and money laundering.

“Play it safe and buy mom the real deal for her special day,” CBP said.