Local News

Warning: Counterfeits Cropping Up In Time For Holiday Shopping

Posted December 4, 2001

— A new generation of counterfeit merchandise has come to North Carolina.

Investigators in Nash County recently busted sales of fake items at a Rocky Mount flea market.

According to the Nash County Sheriff's Office,

12 vendors

, working separately, were caught trying to sell more than $130,000 worth of merchandise that included counterfeit sunglasses, T-shirts and designer clothing.

Elaine Marshall, North Carolina's

secretary of state

, warns that the quality of counterfeit items is poor, and that buyers end up paying the price.

"Criminal elements, in our country and in other countries, see it as a low-risk moneymaker where most of the activity involves cash," Marshall said.

"A lot of these people are spending their hard-earned money, especially this time of year, for Christmas. The merchandise is so poor they wouldn't even give it to their children," says Nash County Sheriff Jimmy Grimes.

For the first time, fake DVDs are showing up in North Carolina.

Here are some tips to tell the real thing from a rip-off:

  • Check out the case of the disc.

    The print on the label of a fake copy is offset on the spine, the picture is typically of poor quality and the fine print is often too blurry to read.

  • Examine the disc.

    A real DVD will have a small bar code around the inside ring; a fake will not.

  • Fake goods are not illegal to own, but they amount to lost profits for companies, lost jobs for their workers, and in the end, higher prices for consumers.

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