Counterfeiter Tricks of the Trade: How Fake Goods Might Get Past Inspectors

To fool agents, counterfeiters use tactics to conceal brand names on fake goods.

— -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are inspecting suspicious boxes pulled off of planes, trains and cargo ships at several secret locations all over the country. Inside some of these boxes are countless counterfeit goods, and it’s the agents’ jobs to spot these fakes before they make it to store shelves and maybe even inside your home.

As part of a nearly year-long investigation into counterfeit goods, ABC News’ “20/20” was allowed inside these inspection locations in Newark, New Jersey, Miami and Los Angeles.

To get the knockoff items past inspectors, Robert Perez, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Director of Field Operations, says he’s seen counterfeiters utilize several tactics to conceal brand names on the fake goods.

"We see nationally well over 25 million cargo containers on vessels, trucks and rail cars every year,” Perez told “20/20.” “The same counterfeits not only undermine the economic security of the country, but they raise many health and safety concerns as well.”

Here are some of the tricks that customs and border patrol and Immigration and customs enforcement agents in Newark, Miami and Los Angeles say counterfeiters have used in the past, and watch the video above to see how the counterfeit items are hidden

1. Timberland boots:

In Newark, agents discovered detachable rubber pieces hiding a Timberland logo on the soles of boots made to look like a generic brand.

Import specialists in Miami found that counterfeiters covered the Samsung logo and Sony Ericksson logo on different counterfeit phone pieces with black tape.

3. North Face outerwear:

Counterfeiters tried to fool Los Angeles border agents by hiding a trademark North Face logo on a fake jacket with a patch that had generic logo on it.

Los Angeles border agents found a fake Louis Vuitton handbag disguised with an outer covering that made it look like a generic brand purse.

5. True Religion jeans:

Border agents in Los Angeles also discovered that counterfeiters hid the logos on the back pockets of a pair of counterfeit True Religion jeans with a generic logo.

6. Beats by Dre headphones:

Counterfeiters used decoy boxes of a generic brand of headphones to conceal a box of knockoff Beats by Dre headphones, according to Los Angeles border agents.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

Top Stories

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events