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WASHINGTON — While counterfeit goods pose a threat all year round, consumers should be on especially high alert during the holiday season. The surge in consumer spending and the desire to find great deals on holiday gifts means that shoppers may be at heightened risk for purchasing counterfeit goods. The good news is, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are here to help.

CBP, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is taking to the airwaves to raise awareness this holiday shopping season about the dangers of counterfeit goods, and how to avoid falling for scams. The two organizations are encouraging shoppers to “unbox real happiness” this holiday season by purchasing genuine goods.

Shoppers are continuing to purchase their holiday gifts online in record numbers. However, with the ease and convenience of direct-to-consumer purchasing, consumers must remain vigilant to ensure they receive authentic products.

“Counterfeit goods may seem harmless, but they support criminal activity, contain materials and ingredients that can pose serious health and safety risks, and hurt legitimate American businesses,” said John Leonard, Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “During Fiscal Year 2022, CBP seized nearly 25 million counterfeit products worth $3 billion, had they been genuine. Counterfeiters only care about profits – not your health or safety, or the United States economy.”

CBP knows businesses can’t do it alone. That’s why the Agency is partnering with industry to educate Americans about the dangers of counterfeits. 

“Consumer awareness is paramount in the fight against fakes,” said Patrick Kilbride, Senior Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center. “This holiday season, business and law enforcement are partnering to help consumers shop smart and get what they pay for. Follow our top ten tips for safe online shopping to give the gift of authenticity,” Kilbride said. 

For more information about what you can do you can do to can do to “unbox real happiness” this holiday season, visit www.USChamber.com/shopsmart. 

Consumers can report suspected counterfeits via CBP’s e-Allegations Online Reporting System or by calling 1-800-BE-ALERT. 

More information about CBP’s intellectual property rights enforcement is available at  https://www.cbp.gov/trade and on Twitter @CBPTradeGov.

 

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