Fake Fashion: The Real Problem With Counterfeit Merchandise

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DALLAS – Nobody wants to be called a fake, but it looks like fake fashion is trending. You’ve probably come in contact with knockoffs, whether you knew it was fake or not.

What you probably don’t know, fake fashion has become an industry of its own, and it’s costing the real fashion business big-time. A study by the European Observatory found about 10% of fashion merchandise sold is counterfeit, bringing in over $28 billion a year.

And it doesn’t stop there. Folks are losing their jobs because folks are buying fakes, instead of the real thing. We’re talking about 500,000 jobs.

And if a guilt trip isn't enough to stop customers from buying counterfeit, maybe U.S. law enforcement is. Homeland Security Investigations agents are cracking down on this fraudulent fashion industry.

"It might seem innocent enough when you go to purchase one of these items. You may think, what harm am I doing?” John McNair said. McNair is a Supervisory Special Agent with Homeland Security Investigations. "These products are by criminal organizations, usually overseas and they use an entire criminal network.”

So, whether you absolutely die for fashion or are just a one-time buyer, think twice before you swipe. That fake can have some very real consequences.