Counterfeit Items During The Holidays

By Sylvia Gonzalez

Newswest 9

MIDLAND - With Christmas right around the corner people are making their list and, sometimes that list can include some pricey items such as designer purses, shoes and even sunglasses. If you get caught selling or buying counterfeit items you will find yourself in some serious trouble.

"We definitely see a spike during the holidays cause the demand is there people are looking for the product,they want to get the most bang for their buck they're trying to get the most product they can for the less money as possible," Dennis Ulrich Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations said.

Ulrich says when people are desperate for a pricey product but can't afford it they'll often settle for the cheaper version.

"We normally see the purses, the sunglasses and the fragrances sports memorabilia is very popular not just at the holidays its always popular," Ulrich said.

Ulrich tells us how you tell between the real deal  from an imitation.

"You need to have a trained eye, you're looking for the lining, you're looking at the stitching, you're looking at the material the purse is made out of, you're looking at the print on the purse there are a lot of indicators that you need to be cautious of," Ulrich said.

Le Bow Boutique in Midland sells some handbags and backpacks, Owner Mayola Magaña says  even though she doesn't sell counterfeit items, she was surprised to find out it was against the law. She says from now on she'll have more of a watchful eye when it comes to her merchandise.

" I am going to be very careful I do order some things from china so now that scares me that I am gonna have to be careful with what order," Magaña said

Ulrich says if a business gets caught selling fake goods they can face serious charges which include jail time, fines and seizures; his advice for the buyer is if it looks too good to be true it probably is.

"If the cost is low and the product is to good to be true its most likely not real," Ulrich said.