Countdown to Super Bowl XLVI on February 5 has begun, and the Better Business Bureau is reminding you to be alert for knock-off team jerseys, counterfeit memorabilia, and phony game tickets.
Katherine Hutt, spokesperson for the Council of Better Business Bureaus says that "If you love your team, don’t buy a hat or jersey from someone who has stolen the team’s name and logo for their own profit." Plus, she adds that counterfeit items are almost always more cheaply made, which means they won’t last as long as the real thing.
Tickets to the big game can also be a big rip-off. There are thousands of Super Bowl tickets listed on Craig’s List, but the site offers no guarantees, and does not require identification of listers. Instead, the BBB suggests sites such as Stub Hub, which guarantee ticket authenticity, and Ticketmaster, which handles ticket exchanges for the NFL.
In addition, several BBB locations across the country have reported websites that don’t actually have any Super Bowl merchandise, but want your credit card and personal information in order to steal your identity or drain your bank account. The best way to ensure you're getting official sports gear is to buy directly from the team or league website, or from official vendors at the stadium.
You can also avoid scams by being skeptical of:
- Offers that sound “too good to be true.”
- Pushy sales tactics.
- Poor quality of merchandise.
- Offers that require wire transfer of funds.
Find all of our Super Bowl coverage in one place on ConsumerReports.org: Super Bowl XLVI game plan helps you pick out the best TVs for watching the game, how to find those TVs, apps that'll augment your fun, the tastiest TV-watching treats, and lots more.