The countdown to Super Bowl XLVI has begun, and while you’re gearing up to cheer on either the NY Giants or the New England Patriots (may we suggest a color palette of red, white and blue?) the Better Business Bureau is reminding football fans to avoid being sacked by knock-off team jerseys, counterfeit memorabilia, and phony game tickets.
Katherine Hutt, spokesperson for the Council of Better Business Bureaus says, “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.” She adds that counterfeit items are almost always poorly made with inferior materials, so they won’t last as long as the real thing.
Tickets to the big game can also be a big rip-off. There are thousands of Super Bowl tickets listed on CraigsList, but the site offers no guarantees, and does not require identification of sellers, so all you may get for your thousands of dollars is a big pile of nothing.
Instead, the BBB suggests sites such as Stub Hub, which guarantee ticket authenticity, and — though we are hesitant to mention their name here — Ticketmaster, which handles ticket exchanges for the NFL.
In addition, several BBB locations across the country have reported websites that don’t actually have any Super Bowl merchandise, but want your credit card and personal information in order to steal your identity or drain your bank account. The best way to ensure you’re getting official sports gear is to buy directly from the team or league website, or from official vendors at the stadium.
The following are warning signs that any transaction — whether it’s for Super Bowl tickets or commemorative World Cup beer cozies — may be a scam:
*Offers that sound “too good to be true.”
*Pushy sales tactics.
*Poor quality of merchandise.
*Offers that require wire transfer of funds.