U.S. Customs seizes cache of counterfeit wearables

Brittany A. Roston - Jan 12, 2016, 6:45pm CST
U.S. Customs seizes cache of counterfeit wearables

Though it doesn’t happen too often if you use a reputable service, ordering electronics online often comes with the risk of getting a counterfeit product. In some cases, the counterfeit nature of the product is immediately apparent and disappointing; other times it is done well enough to go undetected unless something catastrophic happens. The best way to avoid having those products in the marketplace, of course, is to catch them as they arrive, which is exactly what happened recently in Philadelphia.

In a statement today, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol announced it confiscated a cache of smart wristbands with a street value of $35,000 USD. The agency released an image of the counterfeits with the faux branding blurred out, and while it didn’t name the company behind copied, it did reveal they were fitness wearables and that the real equivalent would have a value of about $100 each.

Those details coupled with a careful look reveals they were likely Fitbit Flex wristbands, which retail for about $99 USD and are used for fitness purposes. The shipment arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and originated from Hong Kong. The shipment arrived on December 4, but wasn’t confirmed to be counterfeit until January 4.

Counterfeit products are not only bad for the company being ripped off and the economy general, but can also be a safety or health hazard to the unsuspecting public. Most recently, for example, counterfeit hoverboards have had issues with their batteries exploding or catching fire while charging, in some cases causing extensive property damage.

SOURCE: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol

Must Read Bits & Bytes