Dangerous Counterfeits Becoming More Difficult to Avoid
While many holiday shoppers may think that they’re getting a bargain by purchasing goods displaying a particular brand without having to pay brand prices, these shoppers are unwittingly gifting low-quality items or worse, products that pose health hazards, to their friends or loved ones. Thanks in large part to the Internet, counterfeiting operations have reached epidemic levels in recent years. Nearly half of all brand owners are losing revenues because of the sale of counterfeits and, in 2017, U.S. customs agencies seized a total of 34,143 shipments carrying counterfeited goods being imported into the U.S. But counterfeiting is a victimless crime, the common refrain goes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Terrorist organizations and organized crime families are turning to counterfeiting as a meaningful source of income given the exceptionally low penalties even if they are caught and extraordinarily high profit margins — profit margins that are even higher than selling drugs on the street.