Security Alert: Avoid Super Bowl merchandise scams

Author: Rich Kolko/WINK News
Published: Updated:
The sun sets behind Mercedes-Benz Stadium ahead of Sunday’s NFL Super Bowl 53 football game between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots in Atlanta, Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

We are just days away from Super Bowl LIII, but scammers are already using the big game to take our cash. The NFL and U.S. Department of Homeland Security have seized tens of millions in counterfeit items.

WINK News looked at examples and ways to avoid falling victim to scams related to the football championship.

If looking to buy a player jersey, make sure it’s an authentic NFL product. Each year, there are truckloads of counterfeit products for sale both near the stadium and online.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, conducts an enforcement action code called Operation Team Player to stop the sale of these fake products. At last year’s super bowl, ICE seized $15 million worth of counterfeit sports merchandise.

There are plenty of false ticket scams too. The NFL recommends consumers buy any tickets through a known seller.

With the many ticket scams, fans need to be on their toes. Anyone who spends money on fake souvenirs or fake tickets, that money won’t be refunded.

If the price is too cheap, it’s probably fake — same with tickets. Use a reputable broker.

The Better Business Bureau has tips about how to find legitimate tickets and more:

  • It’s best to purchase tickets from secure websites, one “with the padlock on the page and ‘https’ at the start of the page’s web address.”
  • If you’re buying from a legitimate and accredited re-seller (a ticket broker), look them up on and check if other customers have worked with them. Also, be sure to ask where the seller is located and how they can be contacted after the sale. “If the seller is elusive, don’t pursue the offer,” according to the BBB.
  • You can also check if a seller or broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATM members offer a 200 percent guarantee on tickets that don’t arrive in time.
  • Before completing the purchase with a ticket broker, ask for a photo of the tickets to ensure the seats actually exist.
  • If you think the ticket you bought is a counterfeit, report it to the NATB and file a complaint with your local BBB.
  • Know the difference between a ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited re-seller) and a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller).
  • Look for secure websites when buying tickets.
  • Ask the seller where he or she is located. Also, ask how he or she can be contacted after the sale. If the seller is elusive, don’t pursue the offer.
  • Ask for a picture of the tickets so you can confirm the tickets match the venue. Check out the seats ahead of time to avoid obstructed view seats or seats that do not exist.
  • Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Never wire money or pay with a cashier’s check. You’ll have no way of getting your tickets or money back.

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