The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection team up to launch the ‘Shop Smart’ campaign to protect consumers and businesses from counterfeit goods.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Counterfeit goods are a problem all year long, but the increased demand for gifts, household products, virtual learning tools, and even health products means that the holiday season is an especially busy time for crooks who are looking to make a profit by selling knock off goods to unsuspecting consumers. Counterfeit products cost the global economy over $500 billion dollars a year.
Earlier this year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) signed a first-of-its kind memorandum of understanding to strengthen efforts to stop the importation of counterfeit and pirated goods into the U.S. As a continuation of this partnership, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and CBP are raising awareness ahead of the holiday shopping season about the dangers of counterfeit goods and how to avoid falling for scams, encouraging consumers to “unbox real happiness” instead.
“Education is one of the best tools we have in the fight against fakes,” said Tom Quaadman, Executive Vice President at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “You can learn how to avoid counterfeit goods and help teach your friends, family, and colleagues to do the same. That’s why we are sharing our top ten tips to shop smart to protect consumers and businesses from counterfeit goods,” Quaadman said.
This year, due to the global pandemic, supply chain crisis, and shifting shopping habits, millions of consumers are purchasing their holiday gifts and other necessities online. With the ease and convenience of direct-to-consumer purchasing, consumers must remain vigilant to be sure they receive authentic products.
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.
“Fake goods pose real dangers to your health and safety and jeopardize the U.S. economy,” said AnnMarie Highsmith, Executive Assistant Commissioner of CBP’s Office of Trade. “Every year, CBP seizes a variety of counterfeit goods worth billions of dollars. Between October 1, 2020 and July of this year, CBP made 22,849 seizures worth $2.5 billion. That’s $2.5 billion dollars in legitimate revenue that has been taken from the pockets of law-abiding American businesses to line the pockets of criminals and criminal organizations.”
For more information about what you can do you can do to can do to shop smart 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.