How to know a knock-off when you see it

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- The Department of Homeland Security says it seized more counterfeit luxury items last year than ever before.

Electronics, shoes, clothes and perfumes top that list of commodities.

As a result, the Arizona Better Business Bureau is warning bargain hunters to be wary of deals they find online.

One of the biggest red flags, it says, is an unrealistic price.

For instance, paying $100 for a $1,000 purse will probably get you closer to nada than a Prada.

The BBB also recommends you read between the lines.

Watch out for product descriptions that go overboard using words like “genuine, real or authentic.”  Also keep an eye out for phrases like “inspired by.”

Most high-end designers use serial numbers that you can look up to verify whether the item is the real deal.

Above all, Felicia Thompson with the Arizona BBB says a dead giveaway is poor craftsmanship.

“So, if you’re looking for quality, the labels and certain zippers and buttons on the items will be of good quality versus those fake items where they're just throwing things on there to make it look, again, look like a legitimate purse or perfume bottle,” Thompson said.

If it's too late and you've purchased a fake luxury good, you should dispute the charge with your credit card or bank.

You should also file a complaint with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

You can also contact 3 On Your Side.