How To Spot A Counterfeit Sports Jersey

Go, Denver Brondos...? (CBS Denver

Go, Denver Brondos…? (CBS Denver

All your bags are packed, you’re ready to go to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, CA this weekend, and already there are visions of NFL merchandise floating through your head. Maybe you’ve tucked away some money especially to buy the jersey of your favorite player — money you definitely don’t want to waste on a fake.

Shucksters, shysters, and other n’er-do-wells have become pretty good at tricking consumers into thinking the products they’re peddling are the real thing: jerseys might have the right names on the back, the (kind of) correct teams colors, and heck, they might even bear some kind of official-looking NFL logo.

But there’s one thing you can do to easily check if that super special Super Bowl jersey you’re holding in the parking lot of Levi’s Stadium is the real deal this Sunday: check the stitching.

“Take it inside out and look at the stitching — there are loose threads, it’s coming apart and it’s light,” Yasmen Pitts O’Keefe from United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement said while explaining the difference between real and fake jerseys to CBS Denver.

Rushed work is a good sign that the jersey was made by someone trying to churn out a lot of products in a short amount of time, so check the cross-stitching inside from letter to letter. If it’s all one seam, that shows someone was probably working so quickly to make a bunch of jerseys, they couldn’t even pick the needle up while sewing letters. If you see the word “BRONDOS” with a backwards “D” instead of “BRONCOS,” for example, it’s over.

You should also examine any attached tags carefully, Pitts O’Keefe suggests: counterfeit jerseys will likely be missing telltale hologram stickers on the tags.

And if you see any colors bleeding or hues that are just not right, it’s best to stay away, and show your true team spirit by staying away from anything sold out of the trunk of a car or on a folding table in the parking lot.

Counterfeit Merchandise Targeted At Super Bowl 50 [CBS Denver]