Back-to-School: Business and Law Enforcement Team Up to Protect Students, Parents, and Teachers from Counterfeit Goods


Washington, D.C. — As kids head back to school, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Customs and Border Protection are joining forces to educate students, parents, and teachers about the dangers of counterfeit goods and how to spot them. This joint effort highlights the impact counterfeit goods have on the economy as well as the health and safety of consumers with “10 tips to “Shop Smart” for back-to-school basics.

August is a busy time for parents and educators to stock up on everything they need for a successful school year. Unfortunately, it is also a busy time for scammers looking to sell fake and potentially dangerous counterfeit goods. As of August 2022, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has made almost 17,000 seizures of counterfeit goods worth an estimated $2.4 billion, had the goods been genuine.  Seizures of these fake goods included consumer electronics, footwear, and apparel to name a few.

“Fake goods are a danger to American families, particularly children who are about to start another school year,” said Kasie Brill, Vice President for Brand Protection at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center. “The U.S. Chamber encourages parents to use our “10 tips to “Shop Smart” to protect their families from the dangers of counterfeit items.”

Buying a substandard, fake good may save money in the short term, but when it breaks down quickly or causes a safety issue for your child, your costs will double to replace the product. Counterfeiters lure customers with convincing advertisements and low prices, but shoddy, or potentially harmful products and materials are not worth the risk. Fake backpacks, pencils, and electronics threaten students and cost parents more money over time.

Counterfeit products cost the global economy over $500 billion a year. That’s why the private sector is partnering with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to raise awareness nationwide to educate Americans about the dangers of counterfeits.

“CBP works closely with our industry partners to alert shoppers to the dangers associated with the purchase of counterfeit goods and how to be a conscientious consumer,” said Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner for CBP’s Office of Trade, John Leonard. “While the lure of a great deal is tempting, the consequences simply aren’t worth the risk. Only shop from sources you trust, especially when shopping online.”

As part of the national campaign, the U.S. Chamber and Customs and Border Protection are taking to the airwaves and running radio ads nationwide to educate back-to-school shoppers on the dangers of counterfeit goods.

For more information about what you can do to shop smart for the back-to-school shopping season, visit www.USChamber.com/shopsmartThe Truth Behind Counterfeits | U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Awareness of Counterfeits in E-Commerce.

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