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A growing number of counterfeit computer chips are making their way into our military's weapon systems and the electronic gear we use in our daily lives. A recent report by the Alliance of Gray Market and Counterfeit Abatement, a coalition of tech companies battling the proliferation of knock-off products, estimates that counterfeiting costs the IT industry $100 billion in lost sales annually.
The inner workings of military and civilian computers aren't the only places counterfeit goods are found. Name a popular brand, and there's likely a counterfeit version of it available somewhere in the world. The World Customs Organization reports that counterfeit goods account for nearly 10% of worldwide trade, an estimated $500 billion annually. But the sheer size of the counterfeit market makes it hard for law enforcement agencies to make a dent in this illicit trade. U.S. officials alone seized more than $113 million in knockoff goods so far this year, up 2% from the same period last year. That's only 5% of what experts estimate makes it to the U.S. each year. Nearly every industry is affected, ranging from footwear to pharmaceuticals to batteries. Here's a look at some of the industries popular with counterfeiters.
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High Tech Electronics