How to Spot Counterfeit Football Merchandise

NFLEarlier this year federal officials announced a crackdown on counterfeit goods, ending in the seizure of more than $21.6 million in fake NFL merchandise. 

As you may or may not know, 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. Honestly, the only place your support for the team is going is into the pockets of criminals hiding out abroad.

With kickoff right around the corner, DSS has decided to provide our readers with some quick tips and tricks on how to spot a fake.

  • Tags tell all. In most counterfeit NFL gear, there is only one tag for washing instructions. However, in a authentic pieces, there are two tags; one for washing instructions and a second for a serial number. That quality of these tags often differ as well – the real ones are shiny and smooth while the fake ones feel like paper.
  • The look and feel of the jersey is your second indicator if you’re dealing with a counterfeit product. The numbers and/or lettering on an authentic NFL jersey will have a smooth look and wont feel loose or fragile to the touch. On the other hand, a fake jersey will feel likely feel rough, the colors will seem faded or wrong all together and the lettering will often times begin to peel away.
  • Lastly, the price of the jersey is probably the best giveaway to spot a fake jersey. Most of these fake jerseys sport a $50 price tag. Remember you get what you pay for and the quality is equal to what you pay for the jersey – cheap.

Consumers should be made aware that these counterfeit items are found in both stores and websites. Some studies show that as many as 800,000 counterfeit jerseys are sold online each year.

DSS is working around the clock to stop the sale of counterfeit merchandise. To learn how AuthentiGuard can protect consumers and brands alike, please visit


RG&E Customers in Jeopardy as Database Security is Threatened

According to a recent article on 13 WHAM’s website, an ABC affiliate in Rochester NY, Rochester Gas & Electric (RG&E) & NYSEG announced that they must alert their customers to an unauthorized access allowed into their customer’s data.

The article states, “This situation involves an employee at an independent firm who allowed unauthorized access to one of the companies’ customer information systems.  The records contain Social Security numbers, dates of birth and, in some cases, financial institution account numbers.”

As a customer to RG&E, you assume they take their responsibility to protect customer data seriously. This issue has the potential to rob the consumers of their identity and those responsible are offering little comfort.  RG&E’s President stated earlier that they have information technology security measures in place. So, what more can they possibly do to protect against human error?

This is not the first time that secure systems have had data breached because of human error.  In December of 2010, a Colorado Sherriff’s office reported that an employee accidentally moved a secure database onto what they thought was a secure server and inadvertently made the information available to the public.

This mistake went unnoticed for a staggering seven months. When tracked, investigators realized that the leaked information was accessed publicly in the US and overseas.

Through DSS Digital Group, there is a technology that would protect data the moment it is entered into a database.  Using program templates, designated data, such as social security numbers, could be encoded using the AuthentiGuard DX system.  This data is then securely stored, and only seen with a specific viewer  whereas unauthorized viewers, would only see a gray area.

This data security would solve RG&E’s probelm with human error and prevent leaks from hackers.  Any hacked data or data sent offsite would be unreadable.  Integrating the DX system into any IT security solution would greatly enhance the security of our personal data.