With the Super Bowl just around the corner, Better Business Bureau warns 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,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York. “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. If you have a problem with the products, sellers of counterfeit items are much less likely to help you than legitimate sellers.”
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.
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 Ticketmaster (www.ticketexchangebyticketmaster.com) handles ticket exchanges for the NFL and Stub Hub (www.stubhub.com) guarantee your tickets’ authenticity. Ticketmaster had over 1000 tickets available as of today, starting at $2,614.
In general, avoid scams by being skeptical of:
Offers that sound “too good to be true”
Aggressive, high pressure sales tactics
Poor quality of merchandise
Offers that require wire transfer of funds
And always check out a business first at www.newyork.bbb.org.
The BBB Serving Metropolitan New York, Long Island and the Mid-Hudson Region is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree to adhere to BBB’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Reviews ™ and BBB Wise Giving Reports™ on hundreds of charities, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses.
The first BBB was founded in 1912 by advertising executives. The BBB of Metropolitan New York was founded in 1922 by the NY Stock Exchange. Today, 124 BBBs serve communities across the U.S. and Canada, providing reviews of for more than four million local and national businesses and charities. Please visit www.newyork.bbb.org for more information.
For questions, contact Anna Orkin, Information and Investigations Manager at AOrkin@newyork.bbb.org or Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York at CRosenzweig@newyork.bbb.org.