SAN FRANCISCO -- A concerted effort to catch counterfeit goods headed into the Bay Area has resulted in the seizure of more than 300 packages in the last three days, authorities said.

Operation Holiday Hoax, run by agents from U.S. Customs, targeted a wide variety of suspected merchandise, including sports gear, athletic shoes, jewelry and leather good, according to a news release. Agents have been performing increased screening of packages coming into the United States since Nov. 26.

Officials said an increasing number of counterfeit items are being sent directly to consumers, instead of being shipped to "unscrupulous" retailers who will then sell them.

"Consumers order merchandise online believing they're getting the genuine article, only to receive a shoddy and sometimes dangerous counterfeit version," said Clark Settles, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations San Francisco.

Other frequently-counterfeited items targeted in the operation include perfume, holiday lights, electronics, clothing and DVDs.

This is the third year that the federal government has run the anti-counterfeiting operation. In 2011, agents seized more than 327,000 counterfeit and pirated items, with an estimated value of nearly $77 million.

Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at djimenez@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DMJreports.



Advertisement