When it comes to Super Bowl gear, buyer beware.
Federal officials have been working to uncover millions of dollars worth of phony NFL gear, even fake Super Bowl tickets, ahead of Sunday’s big game.
The game’s hype and popularity contribute to the counterfeit threat.
Bill Rivera, chief officer for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said many of the counterfeit items come from China. Officials at JFK International Airport’s mail facility in New York have been working to intercept fake items, looking for gear containing incorrect materials or improper stitching.
Some of the counterfeit gear even features official-looking NFL holograms.
Last year, officials uncovered a record $17.2 million in fakes just before the game.
But some counterfeit items still slip through the cracks. Rivera says to follow your gut instinct when buying Super Bowl items.
“If it’s too good to be true, if you’re getting a $150 item for $40, it’s because it’s actually a counterfeit time,” Rivera said.
Officials are already cracking down on counterfeit tickets. Two men were charged earlier this week, accused of making high-quality fake tickets and selling them online.