BOSTON (CBS) – Federal agents in Boston have a warning for holiday shoppers: Beware of counterfeit gifts this season.

Federal agents seize more than $560 million in fake goods per year, and on Wednesday, they showcased some of the items this year, since the holiday season is a prime time for shoppers to fall victim to the scam.

Experts say the most popular counterfeit items are clothing, footwear and jewelry. However, there are also knock-off toys and sports apparel. Investigators said sometimes even trained agents can’t tell the difference between the genuine items and the counterfeits.

“The message is to purchase from the manufacturer or authorized retailers, and if the deal is too good to be true it probably is,” said one investigator.

Experts say pay particular attention to the quality of stitching on handbags, clothes and sneakers. Cheaper knock-offs often have crooked seams.

If you think you’ve been a victim or come across a website selling counterfeit goods, call police.


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