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Officials Warn Holiday Shoppers To Beware Of Counterfeit Goods

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Everyone is going to do a little shopping over the next month, but there's a chance you could buy a counterfeit item, especially if you shop online.

Lots of shoppers got burned recently after buying "Fingerlings" on Amazon and Walmart's websites. They were sold by a third party and turned out to be fake.

Walmart and Amazon are offering refunds.

Customs officials say knock-off goods are flooding onto the internet, especially this time of year.

The number of seizures has risen every year since 2007 and jumped 25 percent in 2015. Last year, officers seized $1.38 billion in counterfeit goods and made 451 arrests.

Federal investigators say most of the knock offs have been coming from China and Hong Kong, but recently, distributors have been changing the countries they're shipping from to try to fool inspectors.

Homeland Security say sales of counterfeit goods often benefit terrorist groups and the products themselves may be unsafe, including toys, electronics and cosmetics.

Meanwhile, the annual "Trouble in Toyland" list of dangerous toys is finally out. Topping the list is a doll that could pose a threat to your security.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group says the "My Friend, Cayla" doll can easily be used as a recording device. It's already banned in Germany.

The group is also warning parents about two models of fidget spinners which Target pulled off its shelves because of lead levels.

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