Authorities from Homeland Security Investigations and the Boston Police Department are warning that there could be an uptick in counterfeit NBA goods and tickets being sold, as the series shifts to Boston for Game 3 on Wednesday.
"Criminals have been known to exploit fan enthusiasm during major sporting events by selling counterfeit jerseys, hats and other sports related merchandise to unsuspecting consumers," said Jim Mancuso, HSI Intellectual Property Rights Center Director. "Fans who spend their hard-earned money can rest assured the IPR Center and its partners are working around the clock to ensure they are getting only genuine, high-quality officially licensed NBA merchandise."
HSI is the investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security.
The effort isn't new. During major events such as the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men's Final Four, HSI is out on the streets collecting counterfeit goods. In February, officials announced they seized nearly $100 million worth of counterfeit sports goods in the past year.
In a separate news release, Boston Police urges fans to be cautious in purchasing NBA finals tickets.
"The BPD encourages fans to only buy tickets from authorized ticket agencies," the Department says. "Fans who purchase tickets from a secondary source are taking a chance and do so at the buyer's own risk."
Homeland Security Investigations works in concert with the NBA and other sports leagues to crack down on counterfeits.
"In San Francisco, Boston and beyond, counterfeiters take advantage of consumers who want genuine, quality NBA merchandise and tickets -- and take away from their overall NBA Finals experience," said Ayala Deutsch, NBA Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel.
HSI urges consumers to shop at official NBA licensed stores and look for the NBA hologram which is on every licensed, official product.
The series between the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors is tied and Game 3 takes place Wednesday at the TD Garden in Boston.