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Unbox happiness: Protecting consumers from counterfeit goods

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Women Shopping

MADISON (WKOW) -- As the holiday shopping season ramps up, crooks are  producing counterfeit goods.

Fake products cost consumers and the global economy more than $5 billion every year, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Officials with the Chamber of Commerce are collaborating with businesses and law enforcement right now to protect consumers from buying fake products.

Anna Dalla Val, the director of global brand relations at Amazon, says they regularly share information about bad actors in order to make it harder for them to hide.

"We routinely, at Amazon, share information about confirmed counterfeiters with law enforcement around the world," she said. "Last year, we were able, through a lead that we provided to law enforcement, to seize about 240,000 counterfeit products in different industries."

That can include fake luxury apparel, fake cosmetics, or even imposter helmets and car seats that could fail safety tests.

Dalla Val encourages consumers shopping online to take the same type of care on the web that they would when they're buying an item in the store.

She said that at Amazon, they are always watching for goods that aren't genuine.

"When it comes to counterfeit, we even take a step further and we proactively contact that customer," she said. "We let them know they bought a counterfeit and to dispose of it, and we issue a full refund without the need for them to take any action."

For more information about what you can do you can do to can do to “unbox real happiness” 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.