Beware of fake designer bags online

It's always tempting. Getting a good deal online for what would normally be pricey designer items.  From Chanel to Coach to Juicy even Louis Vuitton, they are all available for the right price on Craigslist.  But are they the real deal? That's the question at the heart of a scheme run by Raelini Briley.

U.S. Postal Inspector Colin Spence noticed several online complaints linked to Briley's Craigslist account, so he reached out to victims.

"They thought they were buying authentic handbags when in fact they turned out to be counterfeits. And then when they tried to return them or tried to contact the person that sold them to them, they couldn't," Spence explained.

With the help of one victim, postal inspectors set up a sting operation to buy a Louis Vuitton bag. When inspectors received the bag, they sent it to Louis Vuitton in New York. The company confirmed the purse was a fake.

The complaints against Briley involved almost $20,000 worth of merchandise.  Briley was charged with Trademark infringement and ordered to pay restitution to the victims.

So how are you supposed to know if you're buying the real thing?

"That's kind of the tricky part about it is that you have to be really familiar with the kind of bags and what an authentic bag looks like because obviously the copies are very high quality. You know, it's the stitching, it's the color of the stitching itself, it's the patina to the leather," explained Spence.

Some popular sites offer advice on the best ways to spot fake designer bags online.  You can follow the following links:


 

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