The sale of counterfeit goods is on the rise in North Texas and federal and local authorities are working together to step up efforts to stop it.
On Thursday, a group of authorities including Department of Homeland Security members, met with industry experts to look into what’s real and what’s fake in North Texas markets.
“You could probably find counterfeit products up and down Harry Hines, and some of these flea markets you see,” said Nancy Kratzer, a local private investigator.
In fact, authorities busted a counterfeit perfume and cologne ring at Traders’ Village in Grand Prairie in March 2012. That sting netted an estimated $65,000 in imposter perfume.
David Marwell, with the Department of Homeland Security, says the idea for a local taskforce came about shortly after last year’s Super Bowl.
Marwell says an estimated $1.25 million of knockoff memorabilia was sold on the streets in Arlington during last year's big game.
“Basically anything and everything the Super Bowl merchandising had put forth, had been copyrighted, had been sold on the street,” said Marwell.
Marwell says he is working in coordination with local agencies and customs at DFW, where authorities believe much of the counterfeit merchandise is coming in through.
“It’s centrally located, and there are more and more people coming to this area. There are more and more businesses coming to DFW area. There is a big draw,” Marwell said.
Authorities warn customers to be on the lookout for websites that offer "wholesale" or "outlet" prices for brand name goods. If the price seems too good to be true, authorities warn, it often means the item is counterfeit..