Arlington, VA – With the Super Bowl just around the corner, Better Business Bureau is warning consumers to be on the 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,” notes Katherine Hutt, spokesperson for the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “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. And counterfeit items are almost always more cheaply made, which means they won’t last as long as the real thing.”
But you may have an even bigger problem if you try to buy counterfeit memorabilia online. Several BBBs around the country have reported websites that don’t even have any merchandise to sell you…they just want your credit card number and personal information in order to steal your identity or drain your bank account. The best way to ensure you are getting official sports gear is to buy directly from the team or league websites, or from official vendors at the stadium.
Beware of Ticket Scams
Tickets for the big game can be an even bigger rip-off. There are thousands of Super Bowl tickets currently listed on Craig’s List, but the site offers no guarantees of any kind and does not require identification of its listers. Buying in person isn’t always an improvement, as it’s gotten easier and easier for scammers to make fake tickets that look real.
So where can you turn? Sites such as Stub Hub (www.stubhub.com) guarantee your tickets’ authenticity. There were 2,800 tickets available as of yesterday, starting at $2,450 a piece. Ticketmaster (www.ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com) handles ticket exchanges for the NFL, and had over 800 tickets available as of yesterday, starting at $2,864.
In general, avoid scams by being skeptical of:
- Offers that sound “too good to be true”
- Pushy sales tactics
- Poor quality of merchandise
- Offers that require wire transfer of funds
And always check out a business first at www.bbb.org/search.
For more consumer tips you can trust, visit www.bbb.org/news. To sign up to receive our Scam Alerts, visit BBB Scam Source at www.bbb.org/scam.