Consumer Alert: Officials warn consumers of big game-related scams, counterfeit tickets and merchandise

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HONOLULU (KHON2) – With the big game coming up on Sunday, experts are warning football fans about counterfeit merchandise and ticket scams.

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Reports of counterfeit team merchandise and tickets are ramping up across the country. The Kansas Attorney General put out a warning about big game scams and the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs wants to urge Hawaii residents of the same schemes.

“The issue here is that you may be lining the pockets of organized crime, because they are heavily invested in pushing out this counterfeit merchandise,” said Stephen Levins, Executive Director of the Office of Consumer Protection.

For consumers looking for their team’s gear, the DCCA suggests only shopping with reputable sellers.

“Make sure that the merchandise has the NFL hologram on the tag, because the NFL insists that all of their officially sanctioned merchandise has the tag with the hologram.”

For those looking at buying last minute tickets to this year’s big game, the DCCA says use NFL authorized sellers like StubHub or Seat Geek. Using an unknown third party website runs the risk of losing out on money.

“Sometimes they don’t provide the tickets, in which case you’ve traveled thousands of miles and you know, they give you a refund. But what good is that if you’ve already committed time and resources to attend the game?”

Whether it’s buying tickets or fan gear, the DCCA says, always use credit cards and trustworthy websites when purchasing anything.

Anyone who believes they may have fallen for a big game-related scam should file a complaint with the Office of Consumer Protection.

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