Colorado Avalanche fans are lining up to buy new gear ahead of what they hope will be a Stanley Cup championship win Friday. The National Hockey League is reminding fans to be aware of counterfeit merchandise.
Federal authorities are working to identify online sellers, flea markets and street vendors selling fake gear during the Stanley Cup Final. Last year, the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center seized more than 267,000 counterfeit items worth an estimated $97.8 million.
"For all the fans looking to celebrate the Avs being a part of the playoffs by wearing a jersey or buying other merchandise, beware of fakes," said Ryan L. Spradlin, HSI Denver Special Agent in Charge. "HSI along with the NHL will be diligent in looking for counterfeit merchandise being sold to unsuspecting fans in an effort to better protect consumers."
Hockey fans were clearing the shelves at Altitude Authentics.
Avalanche jerseys were flying off the rack, despite it being nearly 100 degrees outside. While ICE says beware of street vendors, they're all not trying to rip you off.
CBS4 spoke to Sam Edwards outside of his vendor tent at Colfax and Winona. He sells some licensed gear, but he's honest about what is and what's not.
"There is nothing on this shirt that says it is Colorado Avalanche. It doesn't have the Avalanche name. It doesn't have the Avalanche logo," said Edwards. "I've seen people get torn down.
They come over to my stand and they're like 'OK you're good.'"
ICE has offered tips for fans to avoid being scammed:
- Only buy gear, tickets and/or collectibles from trustworthy sources.
- If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Look out for ripped tags, poor quality, sloppy stitching, and irregular markings on apparel.
- Check statements – keep a record of purchases and copies of confirmation pages to compare against bank statements. If there is a discrepancy, report it immediately.
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