SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Ports all across the country are seeing an increase in the number of containerships with illegal goods.
Officials say this is a year-round effort and the goal is to make sure no illegal items that could put your family in danger get on the market.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Port Security confiscated everything from professional sports jerseys to wearable technology to toys over the past year. Area Port Director Lisa Beth Brown says toys are especially concerning.
"Toys are an issue because high amounts of lead paint could be used. Choking hazards with toys or parts that are designed for small children. Those are also safety concerns from consumers," Brown said.
Many of the items are confiscated because they have trademark violations or are illegal, like brass knuckles with a retractable curved blade. Officials say blocking the sales of these products not only protects Americans but also reduces the cash flow in the world of crime.
"The profits from these illegal sales often support organized crime and criminal activities such as money laundering, smuggling, and trafficking in illegal weapons and narcotics," Brown said.
If you suspect you've received a counterfeit item, officials say don't use it, just report it, and always make sure you're buying from a trusted source.
"Do your homework and do your research. If a price or a product seems to too good to be true, it probably is," Brown said.
If you're wondering where the illegal goods come from, Lisa Beth Brown says upwards of 87 percent are being shipped from China.
The nationwide increase in individual seizures in fiscal year 2016 rose from 28,865 to 31,560. That's around $1.4 billion in possible illegal sales if those products would've made it to market.