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Counterfeit Crimes & Pop Culture

Have you ever bought a designer purse or watch on Canal Street in NYC? Camouflaged as a coveted brand, but at a price a bit too good to be true? What about that “Otterbox” cell phone case that you see online for a fraction of the cost? Or those “Ugg” boots you’ve been dying for; they look the same…who will know?

Enter the world of counterfeit crimes. The illegal traffic and sale of counterfeit goods is a trillion dollar industry. From internet sales to street vendors, these crimes effect our everyday lives and impact not just large corporations, but small businesses, and have a direct influence on American jobs. The sale of counterfeit goods is known to support the drug trade, human trafficking and child labor, and even terrorist activities.

The International Anti-Counterfeiting Association (IACC) has spent years fighting the black market and has teamed up with the museum, along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and a wide range of industry partners, to create this new permanent interactive gallery. From high tech to hands on, it brings awareness to an illegal activity that effects the everyday lives of visitors.

Counterfeit Items Shown Include:

• Coach purses, wallets and sunglasses
• Martin guitars
• Rolex watches
• PlayStation consoles
• Ugg boots
• Otterbox cell phone cases
• Christmas lights, smoke detectors, and lamps


• Is it a choking hazard? Underwriters Laboratories (UL) explains how household items are tested to ensure your child’s safety and NOT tested when it’s counterfeit.
• Explore with UL if you can tell the fish you’re eating is as advertised.
• Do you really know what’s in your medicine cabinet? ? You could be exposing yourself to dangerous chemicals or materials.
• Infringement is not a game. Learn who is harmed when you play a counterfeit video game.

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