Thousands of fake Apple products bound for Virginia seized at Dulles

Spotting a knockoff can be hard to do, but customs agents at Dulles Airport in Virginia thought a few Apple Watch and AirPods shipments looked suspicious. It turns out they were right.

When U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers at Dulles discovered four cases of Apple products from China on their way to Fairfax County on March 15, they paid attention to the red flags as something felt off.

US Customs and Border Patrol agents seized 1,000 fake Airpods in a shipment from China. (Courtesy CBP)

The agents seized the 1,000 earbuds meant to look like AirPod Pros and 50 fake second-generation watches, and discovered they were in fact counterfeit. The agency said if the products were sold as the real thing, it would have cost unknowing customers more than $289,500.

Acting area port director Christine Waugh noted that unregulated products potentially threaten the health and safety of consumers as they do not go through safety inspections.

“Customs and Border Protection urges consumers to protect their health and wallets by buying authentic consumer goods from reputable or authorized vendors,” Waugh said in a news release.

The agency shared this information in its statement about illegal international trade in counterfeit consumer goods:

“It steals revenues from trademark holders, steals tax revenues from the government, funds transnational criminal organizations, and the unregulated products potentially threaten the health and safety of American consumers. Counterfeit consumer goods may also be sourced or manufactured in facilities that employ forced labor.”

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Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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