FAK­ING FIT­NESS

U.S. Cus­toms Seized US$35,000 Worth of Fit­bit Knock-offs

HWM (Malaysia) - - TELEPORT -

HWM

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FE­BRU­ARY 2016 For those of you who've or­dered or got­ten your­self a Fit­bit from over­seas, you may want to check your de­vice and see if it re­ally is a gen­uine Fit­bit de­vice.

The U.S. Cus­toms re­cently seized close to US$35,000 (ap­prox. RM154,100) worth of knock-offs of the brand. Ac­cord­ing the U.S. se­cu­rity body, the ship­ment of fake Fit­bits ar­rived into the coun­try from Hong Kong in early De­cem­ber, and had al­most slipped past their de­tec­tion.

“Cus­toms and Bor­der Pro­tec­tion will con­tinue to work closely with our trade and con­sumer safety part­ners to iden­tify and seize coun­ter­feit and sub­stan­dard mer­chan­dise, es­pe­cially those prod­ucts that pose po­ten­tial harm to Amer­i­can con­sumers,” Su­san Stranieri, CBP Port Di­rec­tor for the Area Port of Philadel­phia said. “In­tel­lec­tual prop­erty rights en­force­ment is a CBP pri­or­ity trade is­sue, and a mis­sion that we take very se­ri­ously.”

It's good thing that the U.S. Cus­toms caught th­ese coun­ter­feit prod­ucts when they did, too. Most fit­ness track­ers and wear­ables com­mand a pre­mium, with the orig­i­nal wrist­bands cost­ing as much as US$99 (ap­prox. RM440) per piece. And while im­i­ta­tion may seem like the sin­cer­est form of flat­tery here, th­ese coun­ter­feits do worse by ru­in­ing the orig­i­nal com­pany's name, as well as pose a sig­nif­i­cant dan­ger to users who are gullible enough not to no­tice them.

Th­ese dan­gers in­clude the pos­si­bil­ity of the de­vice not func­tion­ing prop­erly or even worse, the wear­able sud­denly ex­plod­ing while in use (much like how smart­phones have over­heated and caught fire in the pock­ets of in­no­cent con­sumers).

U.S Cus­toms seized nearly US$35,000 worth of

coun­ter­feit Fit­bits.

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