Supply Chain Issues and Inflation Fuel Billions of Dollar Black Markets

According to Customs and Border Protection, scammers sell everything from counterfeit handbags to counterfeit electronics, but now, they’re getting creative, and it can be deadly. Experts say that due to spurious liquor, people are unnecessarily pledging customers. Supply chain delays and inflation.

“Whenever consumer demand starts to exceed supply, you’re looking at black markets to capitalize on that,” said Michael Billello, executive vice president of communications and marketing for Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America.

In the last financial year, customs and Border Protection More than $3.3 billion in counterfeit goods were seized, including items such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals, footwear and electronics. Fake liquor is also included in the confiscated goods. A large number of these goods come from China.

wine bottles

Scammers have been targeting supply chain loopholes to prey on unsuspecting individuals, and are now taking advantage of wine enthusiasts and collectors. (Giovanni Leggi / Fox News / Fox News)

Sazerac CEO Mark Brown said his customers are among those who are being duped Buying counterfeit alcohol

“We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of counterfeits, and we’re looking for examples of people who have bought bottles that have been refilled,” he explained. Brown said that due to short supply, people are looking for items on auction websites and markets where they are being defrauded.

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Bilello explained the importance of staying within the distribution chain to make sure you don’t get scammed or harmed by consuming something potentially lethal.

“Like any other market in America, where commodities are highly valued, you There are always bad actors.” They said.

Spirits and wine bottles sit inside a warehouse

Thousands of bottles of spirits and wine sit inside the Republic National Distributing Company in San Jose, California. (Giovanni Leggi/Fox News)

“Consumers who move out of the three-tier system into a strongly regulated market are going to be subject to counterfeit and perhaps illicit alcohol,” Billello said.

The three-tier system prevents distillers from selling and distributing alcohol, preventing distributors from distilling and selling alcohol, and preventing retailers from distilling or distributing alcohol.

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“Inside a three-tier system, you’re not going to fall victim to a counterfeit products scam,” Billello said.

Gabriel Ibáez serves as the regional director of operations for the Republic National Distributing Company, one of the largest alcohol distribution companies in the country. They act as middlemen in the system.

“We’re getting that directly from a supplier. We know everything we’re carrying is authentic,” he said.

high-end alcohol bottle

Scammers are buying empty bottles of high-end alcohol and filling them with water or cheap alcohol before offering them to customers at a discounted price on online auction sites and marketplaces. (Giovanni Leggi / Fox News / Fox News)

Although there are strict regulations in the wine and spirits industry, scammers still find a way to make a profit and take advantage of people. Scammers will buy high-end empty bottles and fill them with water or cheap alcohol before selling them as anything else.

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“People will buy them for a high price Because that’s what they’re selling, versus here, we’ll buy it from the supplier at its price, send it to the customer at our price, and they’ll sell it from there at retail price,” Ibanez explained.

The Customs and Border Protection website warns:

“Many counterfeit products are low-quality and can cause injury. Protect yourself and your family by avoiding potentially risky items.”

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