Buyers beware of counterfeit & stolen goods - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Buyers beware of counterfeit & stolen goods

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By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Buyers beware. You're probably looking for bargains these days, but be careful.

Early December officials seized more than $4 million in counterfeit products in Atlanta, ranging from phony Christmas ornaments to name brand fakes for sale in Georgia stores.

The operation was timed to coincide with the holiday shopping season, when counterfeit vendors make much of their money.

But there are a lot more fake items out there.

Stolen and counterfeit goods are a constant problem for law enforcers.

"I recently talked to a guy he owns a record store, it's not a chain store, and he said all over the place people are opening their trunks up and selling counterfeit CD's and he's selling his stuff as low as he can," said Capt. Craig Dodd, Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

Shoes, jeans, belts Captain Dodd has seen it all, and during the holidays the customer base for the goods increase.

"It's been a hard year for everybody let's face it and in an economic situation like we've got right now people want to buy nice gifts, but they can't afford them," said Dodd.

If you can't afford the real thing the knock off or stolen goods seem worth it.

"One particular seller we know of is a man driving a black Cadillac escalade he's selling what are suppose to be $150 Nike shoes for $40-$45 dollars," said Dodd.

Buying cheap CD's or clothes hurts the legitimate retailers.

"You're hurting people who make money; you're hurting the retailer who pays taxes and employs people, that sort of thing," said Dodd.

Most counterfeit goods won't last as long as the real thing.

"It's not unusual to get something that falls apart within a week or two or it fades off the first time you wash it," said Dodd.

Spotting a fake is not always that easy.

"It's extremely difficult to tell in some cases like with Nikes and other athletic shoes," said Dodd.

Your efforts to stretch a dollar could leave you with a citation for theft by receiving if you buy stolen goods.

Law enforcers say people who buy stolen or counterfeit goods only encourage crooks to sell more.


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