Buyer Beware: Counterfeit sports merchandise, tickets

Buyer Beware: Counterfeit sports merchandise, tickets on the rise

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

Tigers fans, beware!

As the March 31 home opener approaches, beware of counterfeit merchandise and tickets.

"If you're buying something for less than market value, you can expect to get something less than market value," says William Hayes, Deputy Special Agent for Homeland Security. "If you buy a counterfeit ticket and you don't get admission to the game that's your cost for buying the counterfeit merchandise."

Fake jerseys, ball caps, t-shirts, jackets and other souvenirs are among the counterfeit merchandise and clothing typically sold at and around these events. Additionally, authorities have seen an increase in the sale of counterfeit tickets being sold to these events. Large sporting events are prime targets for counterfeiters, many of whom travel the country with the sole intention of scamming innocent sports fans.

"It is illegal for vendors to sell counterfeit merchandise and we will be actively pursuing those cases in either federal or state court," says Hayes.

According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition, businesses worldwide lose an estimated $600 billion - $700 billion annually due to counterfeiting.

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