(WHTM) — Time is running out to get your holiday shopping done, but in the mad dash to finish buying all the gifts on your list, you want to make sure you’re actually getting what you pay for.

John Leonard with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Trade said, “The sale of counterfeit goods is a huge problem.” In fact, between 2 and 5 trillion counterfeit goods are sold worldwide each year.

“Not only does it hurt U.S. businesses who own trademarks and copyrights, but a lot of the goods are unsafe and really can cause a problem, in some cases can even cause death depending on what the item is,” said Leonard.

Leonard said this is a busy time of year for these phony products, including watches, jewelry, apparel, handbags, wallets, footwear, and electronics.

“Any one of these items, if they’re made in a substandard way — which most counterfeits are — can pose a health issue,” Leonard said.

One issue is that batteries in counterfeit goods can be poorly made, leading to fires.

“While most folks are doing their shopping online these days, the best thing to do is to make sure you’re actually dealing with a legitimate seller, that you’re reading reviews, that you’re confident that you’re actually buying a legitimate product,” Leonard said.

Another red flag can be the price tag. If the price feels too low for a branded good, it is often counterfeit, Leonard advised.

If you’re concerned something you bought is fake, you can report it on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website.

Leonard said his office is teaming up with the private sector to crack down on this crime. They’re working with companies like Apple, Pfizer, and Burberry, which represent the biggest targets for counterfeiters — electronics, pharmaceuticals, and luxury clothing. Their efforts stopped 25 million counterfeit products worth $3 billion from coming into the U.S. last year.

“We’re trying to take down the organizations overseas and domestically that are bringing in these items in bulk. They’re transnational criminal organizations that often fund the manufacture of counterfeits and profit by it,” Leonard said.