Olympics create games for consumers: BBB warns of counterfeit commodities

February 07, 2014

February 7, 2014 – CALGARY, ALBERTA – Today marks the opening of the 2014 winter Olympics and fraudsters are already going for gold with counterfeit merchandise scams. With reports of fake 2014 Sochi Olympic Games goods already on the rise, including the “The original Olympic torch” being sold on eBay even before the opening ceremonies, BBB is urging consumers to check before they buy.

President and CEO of BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, Sandra Crozier-McKee, says it’s vital to take the time to spot counterfeit Olympic goods, or you could be left with empty pockets and phony memorabilia. “The Olympics are an exciting time for the whole world, and it’s understandable that people want their own piece of Olympic history,” she says. “The unfortunate reality is that there are scammers out there taking advantage of consumers’ support and passion for the games. Scammers know that collectible or limited edition items are in high demand, so it’s best to check just how limited these items are before purchasing.”

BBB provides the following tips to avoid counterfeit 2014 Sochi Olympic Games merchandise:

  • Smart Shopping - Consumers should familiarize themselves with Olympic logos, graphics and branding, and consider shopping directly with the official website of the 2014 Sochi Olympics. If you want to buy Canadian team merchandise, visit the official Team Canada Olympic site at olympic.ca.
  • Make purchases with a credit card - Consumers should always purchase items with a credit card if they are shopping online. If the seller turns out to be fraudulent, then the consumer can dispute the charge with the credit card company and may be eligible for reimbursement. Visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada for more credit card tips and policies.
  • Be cautious of phishing email scams - Scammers don’t take a break just for the Olympics! If you receive any unfamiliar or unsolicited email, don’t open any attachments or click on any links. Doing so could put harmful malware on your computer and your personal and financial information being comprised.
  • Make and stick to a budget - If you’re planning to snap up some Olympic merchandise, plan your budget accordingly so you have an idea as to what certain items should cost. It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of supporting your country and purchasing keepsakes, so it’s best to plan for some extra shopping money so you won’t be left with knock-off items and an empty wallet.

For more information and consumer tips visit bbb.org.


Media Contact:

Leah Brownridge
Marketing Communications Coordinator
Email: leah@calgary.bbb.org
Phone: (403) 531-8793

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For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2015, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. There are local,independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Southern Alberta and East Kootenay, which was founded in 1954 and garners more than one million instances of service annually. 

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