Is that brand new jersey starting to fray? Or that awesome original foam finger going a little…limp? How about that Patriots koozie you got on the street, is it keeping your beer kind of, warm?
Well, if you answered yes to any of those questions, you have probably been the victim of fraud.
Fortunately, members of the ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations and officers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection are working together to make sure this won’t happen again with Operation ‘Fake Sweep’.
Beginning last year and ending just last week, Operation ‘Fake Sweep’ is an anti-counterfeit operation designed to protect one of America’s biggest days: The Super Bowl. Targeting online stores, flea markets and street vendors, this operation resulted in $4.8 million worth of fake NFL merchandise being confiscated, including 42,692 non-authentic Super Bowl items.
The numbers are up from last year where a similar operation collected $3.72 million dollars’ worth of illegal goods. This growth is a sign to consumers and the government alike that counterfeiting is a real and growing problem.
You get what you pay for. Counterfeiters use inferior materials and craftsmanship to produce look-alike products that do not benefit the teams, the players, or the employees of the U.S. based companies and trademark holders.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop with the NFL. As of last year Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League all reported feeling the strain of counterfeit sales.
So this year, show real support for your team by only buying genuine products from licensed providers.