DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - Billions of dollars will be spent this holiday season and some people may end up getting scammed with counterfeit items. Experts offered tips on Cyber Monday so you don't buy a fake Fendi or knock-off Nikes.
Cyber Monday is one of the biggest online shopping days we have.
You maybe think of designer-brand names being the items counterfeiters try to replicate, but that's not the case.
Joseph Macias, who works for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said today, anything goes.
"Now it's crossed over that line, and were looking at cosmetics, beauty aids, electronics, things we put on our bodies or ingest, and they've even moved to things like batteries, contact lenses, razors," he said. "While you're shaving, it actually comes apart and cuts you."
Everything from helmets to Christmas lights can be counterfeit, and many were already confiscated in downtown Los Angeles. Officials said many of them were found on third-party selling sites like Craigslist, eBay and Amazon.
So how can you protect yourself when buying online? Experts say if the deal looks too good to be true, it probably is.
"Especially the toys and stuff like that for our kids," said LAPD Detective Rick Ishitani. "We're thinking we're getting a great discount, but it's not. There's a high level of lead and all these materials used that are not to United States' standards."
The best advice if you are buying online is to go directly to the site of the merchandise you want, but if you are going to shop on a third-party site, some tips to make sure that the seller is legit: You want to make sure that you can find contact information for that seller.
Look to see if they have good or bad reviews and if you do receive something that you suspect might be counterfeit, contact that seller right away and try to return the item, even contact that third-party vendor.
You can contact your bank, your credit card agency as well, and even the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.