You're excited about your team being in the Super Bowl, but don’t let your guard down.
The Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland is warning of a variety of ways that fraudsters are taking advantage of football fans.
For starters: Beware of counterfeit goods that steal a team’s trademarked logo to put on merchandise. The items are poorly made and don’t hold up as well as the real thing, the BBB says. Plus, you could open yourself to identity theft dealing with these shady merchants.
Specifically, the BBB of Greater Maryland is warning about a site, NFLno17.com, http://www.probaltimoreravens.com, that says it’s a Baltimore Ravens Official Team Store. The BBB says it can’t find a physical address for the company, and noted that the site was created this month and registered in China.
The site also features the BBB logo, indicating its an accredited business. But the BBB says that the BBB icon should take a visitor to the BBB's site to see the group's report on the company. This one doesn't do that.
“Fans may be blinded by purple, but a Chinese domain is a bright red flag that the site is not 'official,' the BBB said in a statement.
In the market for a Ray Lewis autograph? The BBB says there are plenty of forgeries out there. Buy Ray’s signature through the teams website or official vendors at the stadium or authorized stores, the BBB advises.
And perhaps the most disappointing and expensive scam of all — fake Super Bowl tickets.
Ticket brokers should be able to give you all the details of the deal, such as whether the tickets are guaranteed and how you will receive them. Ticketmaster and Stub Hub, for instance, guarantee the authenticity of tickets, the BBB says. Make sure you pay with a credit card or a processor like PayPal, which provides extra protection on purchases.
Visit the BBB’s site for more tips on protecting yourself during the run-up to the Super Bowl.
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