Avoid Counterfeit Goods

Counterfeit Gucci purses were seized this year. (U.S. Customs)

With holiday gift-buying gearing up, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations are warning consumers to avoid counterfeit goods.

Last year, Customs seized more than $1.3 billion in counterfeit goods, according to a news release. Earlier this year, the agency seized counterfeit Gucci purses.

Lego brand toys also are popular counterfeit items ahead of the biggest shopping days of the year, Customs officials said.

Counterfeit products pose criminal, financial, and consumer safety risks for the United States and its consumers, officials said.

Counterfeit items have been linked to the funding of criminal enterprises and activity, such as money laundering, smuggling and trafficking in illegal guns and drugs, they added.

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