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Beauty Brand Knockoffs—A Growing Concern

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Counterfeit cosmetics

A recent report in the Daily Mail in London reported that in the last 18 months, police confiscated fake makeup products worth $5.4 million. In a single confiscation, more then 4,700 counterfeit MAC products were found.

Health Hazard

The article states that counterfeit versions of leading brands have been found to contain dangerous levels of lead, mercury and cyanide. "Criminal gangs are using squalid underground laboratories to make huge quantities of the bogus cosmetics, which are then sold through websites including eBay and Amazon."

The author continues, "Made in china and Eastern Europe, the fake cosmetics are shipped into the UK in plain containers and packaged by illegal immigrants in sweatshops of the Northeast. they are typically sold online, on market stalls or in temporary high street shops selling household items at knock-down prices."

Not Just Overseas

This issue of counterfeit beauty products is present in the U.S, as well.

Last year, the Federal Bureau of Investigation published an article stating that the volume of all sorts of counterfeit cosmetics and fragrances coming into the U.S. is on the rise because the Internet has given counterfeiters widespread access to customers. They add this is a low-risk crime since many perpetrators are located out of the U.S.

The FBI asks for the public's help. 

1. Educate yourself about common indicators of counterfeit cosmetics to avoid becoming a victim. If you are unsure, don't buy it. 

2. Submit a tip to the National IPR Center if you come across counterfeit cosmetics.