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WHO: Clandestine Factories Making Fake Drugs That Harm

Agency found that fake or substandard drugs are big problem worldwide

(Newser) - While some people are getting sick, others are getting rich, NPR reports—and a new World Health Organization study reveals why. It's all linked to counterfeit drugs, notes the report from the WHO, which estimates one in 10 medical products in low- and middle-income nations is either substandard (licensed... More »

Selling 'Tiffany' Engagement Rings Just Cost Costco $19.4M

Judge rules against warehouse club, which sold jewelry using Tiffany brand name

(Newser) - A federal judge's decision on trademark infringement likely has Costco executives feeling blue—but definitely not Tiffany blue. Per CNBC , US District Judge Laura Taylor Swain ruled Monday the warehouse club must fork over $19.4 million in damages, plus interest, to the luxury jeweler for selling diamond engagement... More »

7 Most Counterfeited Products in the US

Did you get ripped off on your shoes?

(Newser) - Counterfeiters do a booming business in the US, if seizures by US Customs and Border Protection are any indication. 24/7 WallSt pored over data related to more than 31,000 seized shipments last year to come up with the most commonly counterfeited items in the US. The list below has... More »

Feds Seize $1.6M in Counterfeit Hoverboards

Counterfeit hoverboards are exploding—er, proliferating—in the US

(Newser) - Federal officers recently seized nearly 2,400 counterfeit—and possibly prone to explode —hoverboards in shipments that arrived at South Carolina's Port of Charleston, the Charleston City Paper reports. The hoverboards , which were made in China, would have been worth more than $1.6 million retail, according to... More »

In the Future, Blowing on Cash Could Reveal If It's Counterfeit

Scientists look to beetle-based technology

(Newser) - Scientists are working on an easier way to detect counterfeit money—and they have beetles to thank for it. The system, which would allow people to reveal counterfeit cash by breathing on it, is based on the ability of a longhorn beetle species to change color based on local humidity,... More »

No. 1 Producer of Bogus US Bills Is...

Peru, where counterfeiting is 'more profitable than cocaine'

(Newser) - Forget cocaine: Peru's big money-maker is making money—the fake variety. Counterfeiting has taken off in the country, which has overtaken Colombia as the largest source of fake US currency in the last two years, the AP reports. The phony money typically finds its way into the US, Argentina,... More »

After 10 Years of Tinkering, New $100 Bills Coming

Blue lines? Orange bells? Plenty of color in new greenback

(Newser) - At long last, the United States is getting new $100 bills, reports Reuters . Set to be released more than two years behind schedule on Oct. 8, the redesign has been in the works for a decade. Among the additions:
  • a blue, 3D security ribbon that's not printed but woven
... More »

1.5K Counterfeit Hermes Purses Seized in LA

Would have been worth $14M if they were real

(Newser) - Federal authorities found quite a stash at the Port of Los Angeles last month: 1,500 counterfeit Hermes purses, which would have been worth $14 million at their genuine selling price, the Los Angeles Times reports. The handbags, made in China and headed for sale in the US and Mexico,... More »

Tiffany Sues Costco for Billions Over Fake Rings

Costco allegedly sold hundreds of rings falsely claiming they were Tiffany

(Newser) - Costco has been hit by a potentially multi-billion-dollar lawsuit by Tiffany, as the luxury goods company claims the giant retailer sold hundreds, if not thousands, of diamond engagement rings labeled as Tiffany—which they weren't, reports Reuters . Tiffany was told by a customer in November that rings in a... More »

Border Agents Seize 20K Fake Designer Shoes

Christian Louboutin clones might have fetched $18M on black market

(Newser) - Beware of fake fancy footwear. US customs agents seized about 20,000 pairs of counterfeit Christian Louboutin shoes at the Los Angeles/Long Beach seaport. The shoes came in on a cargo ship from China, and they could have fetched upward of $18 million on the black market, reports ABC News... More »

Chinese Gangs Making ... Fake Italian Train Tickets?

'Leonardo Express' forgeries found in shipping container

(Newser) - Italian cops have seized phony train tickets worth a massive $35 million, but the forger of the "Leonardo Express" tickets didn't have the skills of the Rome airport train's namesake. The tickets, found in a shipping container from China, were paler than the genuine article and the... More »

Police Grab $6 Trillion in Phony US Bonds

Crooks wanted forgeries to buy plutonium: Italian paper

(Newser) - A minor crime averted in Italy: Police seized $6 trillion in phony US Treasury bonds that a criminal network reportedly planned to use to buy plutonium. Cops grabbed the fake bonds at a Swiss trust company in the city of Potenza, they said yesterday. US experts identified the forgeries and... More »

Dangerous Counterfeit Cancer Drug Found in US

Fake Avastin missing active ingredient

(Newser) - A fake version of best-selling anti-cancer drug Avastin has been found in the US. Swiss drugmaker Roche has warned doctors and hospitals to be on the lookout for the counterfeit medication, which lacks the intravenous drug's active ingredient, the Wall Street Journal reports. Samples of the fake drug are... More »

Guy Pays Walmart Tab With $1M Bill

Store employees weren't buying it

(Newser) - He definitely wanted to keep the change: Cops have charged a North Carolina man after he attempted to pay a $476 Walmart tab ... with a $1 million bill. Seems that 53-year-old Michael Fuller bought a vacuum, microwave, among other items, and forked over the bill when it came time to... More »

Feds Grab 150 Websites in Counterfeit Case

Online sellers 'lured in holiday shoppers': official

(Newser) - Buyers of online counterfeit goods may find their favorite websites are under federal lock-down, NPR reports. Authorities have impounded the domain names of 150 websites suspected of selling pirated or counterfeit items, they said today. That includes sellers of DVD sets, golf equipment, and professional sports jerseys. "For most,... More »

Knock-Off Bags May Boost Sales of Real Thing

Counterfeit items seem to have an unexpected effect

(Newser) - A New York City councilwoman is trying to make it illegal to own a knock-off designer bag in her district of Chinatown, on the grounds that it hurts business for the real designer. Not so fast, writes Ray Fisman at Slate . Counterfeits may actually help those businesses by essentially acting... More »

'Shoeless' Joe Jackson Hall of Fame Jersey a Fake

One of a handful of fake items in huge collection

(Newser) - For 10 years, the Baseball Hall of Fame displayed a jersey supposedly worn by "Shoeless" Joe Jackson during the 1919 World Series—which he and his teammates infamously threw. Turns out the jersey, just like the Series, is a fake. It was pulled from display in 2008, and a... More »

Buyers Scammed for Millions in Record EBay Ripoff

Customers paid big bucks for counterfeit products

(Newser) - Consumers around the world were bilked out of millions of dollars for counterfeit golf clubs in the biggest-ever eBay scam, reports the Times of London. The clubs, as well as clothing, accessories and passes for an airline lounge, were auctioned online from 2004-2008 by a criminal network involving crooks from... More »

Peru Flooding US With Counterfeit Bills

About $8 million in fake greenbacks found in U.S., another $18 million in Peru

(Newser) - American officials have seized some $8 million in high-quality counterfeit US bills made in Peru, reports the Los Angeles Times. South American raids have uncovered another $18 million. The massive number of fake bills costs businesses and individuals millions, and threatens to undermine confidence in US currency, warn officials. "... More »

$134B Bond Fraud May Be Mob Handiwork

US, Italian authorities blame organized crime for huge counterfeiting

(Newser) - The counterfeit bonds with a face value of $134 billion seized near the Swiss border are probably the work of the Mafia, say Italian and American secret services. The mystery surrounding the suitcase stuffed with fake US Treasury bonds deepened yesterday, after a blog revealed that police had released the... More »

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