There is a major consumer alert with holiday shopping in full swing. Federal authorities are warning us to be on the lookout for counterfeit goods.
Everything is not immune to thieves wanting to take advantage of people this holiday season. While bargain prices make knock-offs tempting, officials said the savings come at the cost of quality and safety.
ICE and Homeland Security are having a show-and-tell of items they have seized. They spread out items from purses, drugs like Viagra, coupons, UGG boots, clothes, and game consoles.
Some items they have seized have been tainted with animal urine and lead. They said it's hard to track the fake items thanks to copycat websites and sophisticated fake goods.
The key way to know if a website is not legitimate is to take a look at the phone number.
"The counterfeiters often times will answer the phone, ‘hello,' in a foreign language, and then if you say hey and starting asking questions they won't be helpful at all," Special Agent Claude Arnold said.
What about online shopping? The agent recommends checking the product line. Counterfeiters will often sell products that do not exist in the real product line.