LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Tis the season to shop until you drop, but you need to be aware of who and where you are buying your gifts.

What You Need To Know

  • U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seize 1,280 fake Rolex watches

  • If they were real, the estimated value would be $25 million

  • The shipment was seized in Louisville

  • Watches and jewelry are some of the most common counterfeited items.


The U.S. Customs and Border Protection office in Louisville stopped four shipments from Hong Kong Tuesday, Dec. 1 each containing 320 counterfeit Rolex watches headed for Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Each package, from the same shipper, was mis-manifested so CBP officers inspected the packages. The watches were inspected by an import specialist who determined the watches were fake. A total of 1,280 watches were seized. If the watches were real they would have a Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $25.2 million.

One of the four shipments from Hong Kong containing fake Rolex watches/COURTESY U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). COURTESY


In a statement, Thomas Mahn, Port Director-Louisville said, "During this holiday season consumers are always looking for the best deal, the unfortunate part is criminals are also online pedaling their counterfeit products.” Mahn added, “Our CBP officers will continue to seize counterfeit items that threaten the safety and health of consumers and weaken the U.S. economy.” 

CBP seizes a lot of counterfeit products from all over the world every year. In 2019, more than 27,000 shipments of counterfeit goods worth over $1.5 billion, if the goods were real.

Watches and jewelry, clothing, handbags, wallets, footwear, and electronics are the most commonly counterfeited goods. 

Deborah Harbsmeier is the executive producer of digital content for Spectrum News 1 Kentucky. The award-winning producer has been in television news for 30 years.