Designer knockoffs pose more of a danger than you might think -- and could be costing you

Border patrol, Homeland Security seizes knockoff products often

Help Me Hank takes a look at why designer knockoffs pose a threat and how it’s costing people.

DETROIT – The Detroit-Windsor border crossing is the busiest border crossing in North America.

Every day, thousands of cars cross and every day many are searched in an effort to keep fake products out. Those products include things like purses, cellphones and toys.

Those designer knockoffs pose a threat and it is costing people. CBP said nationally, there are about 18 billion seizures of counterfeit goods.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Homeland Security Investigations both tackle the problem of counterfeit goods. The two federal agencies showed the Help Me Hank team some of the fake items them seized and why it’s a bigger problem than many people think.

Everyday agents are searching trucks and cars to search for and seize any illegal or fraudulent item. Officials say the profits from selling counterfeit goods may be tied to funding other criminal activities, including terrorism.

Items like children’s toys can pose a danger if they include chemicals or toxins. The sale of counterfeit products can also drive up the price of the real product.

Watch the video above for the full report.

Read: Complete Help Me Hank coverage


About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.