Apparently counterfeit goods are making their way in droves to the Chicago area and there are a few things you should do to safeguard yourself from accidentally purchasing knockoff merchandise. First, don't buy stuff that's supposed to be luxury goods from someone on the street or in a store that doesn't look officially sanctioned to sell luxury merchandise. Second, the first tip was enough.
Status-seekers don't have to go to New York or Los Angeles to find luxury knockoffs. They can pick up counterfeit handbags, shoes, belts or sunglasses right here at flea markets, storefront shops, sidewalk stands, “purse parties” and, unwittingly, even high-end department stores.
More than 100,000 fakes with a suggested retail value of more than $5 million were seized in the Chicago area during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, according to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Homeland Security Investigations, one of the federal agencies policing the counterfeit market. That, of course, is only what this one agency confiscated.