$1 billion worth of counterfeit designer goods seized in California

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) – Officials in California seized $1 billion worth of counterfeit products in 2022, marking a new record.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport authorities hit the historic mark on September 15, with several months left in the calendar year.

The most popular counterfeit items included clothing, accessories, handbags, wallets, shoes, watches, jewelry and consumer electronics.

  • Counterfeit designer goods confiscated from the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.
  • Counterfeit designer goods confiscated from the Los Angeles/Long Beach Seaport.
  • Authorities with the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport.

Images released of the bust showed a plethora of counterfeit designer goods including Nike Dunks, Gucci Slides, Burberry scarves, Chanel and Louis Vuitton handbags, as well as plenty of counterfeit clothing, cologne, wallets and more.

The $1 billion figure is the manufacturer’s estimated total selling price for the confiscated goods if they were genuine.

Authorities say the accessibility of online shopping has made it fairly easy to sell counterfeit designer goods.

“In the past, illegal actors have sold counterfeit products on illegitimate websites and in underground stores,” authorities said. “However, the rise of e-commerce provides a haven for criminals who can now hide behind seemingly legitimate listings on well-known websites.”

Concerned about scammers? Always follow these tips when making large purchases online or otherwise:

  • Buy goods directly from authorized dealers.
  • When shopping online, read seller ratings and make sure you have a working US phone number and address to contact the seller.
  • If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Counterfeit items are often of inferior quality and may feature poor/uneven stitching, fragile fabrics, and incorrectly sized or designed logos.
  • Peeling labels, inferior ink or printing errors on the packaging are also signs.

Donald R. Kusser, port director of the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport, said the $1 billion milestone “validates the exceptional skill, vigilance and keen focus of our trade enforcement teams at our nation’s largest seaport complex.”

“Every day, they protect American consumers from the fraudulent traps that unscrupulous smugglers set for unsuspecting buyers,” Kusser said.