With the Super Bowl just around the corner, Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be on alert for knock-off team jerseys, counterfeit memorabilia and phony game tickets.
“There are three good reasons not to buy counterfeit goods: theft, quality and security,” said Gary Almond, president of BBB serving Northeast California. “Counterfeit items are stolen goods. If you love your team, don’t buy a hat or jersey from someone who has stolen the team’s name and logo for their own profit.”
Consumers may have an even bigger problem when trying to buy memorabilia online. Sites can claim to offer official sports gear, but viewing from afar leaves the legitimacy of the merchandise up in the air until delivery. The best way to ensure official sports gear is to buy directly from the team or league websites, or from official vendors at the stadium.
Tickets for the big game can be an even bigger rip-off. Thousands of Super Bowl tickets are listed on third party sites, but few offer guarantees of any kind and some do not require identification of the sellers utilizing the site. Buying in person is not always an improvement, as it has gotten easier for scammers to make fake tickets look real.
In general, be wary of:
• Offers that sound “too good to be true”
• Pushy sales tactics
• Poor quality of merchandise
• Offers that require wire transfer of funds