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Authorities say to be on the look out for counterfeit Stanley Cup merchandise

Posted at 10:13 PM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-30 00:13:08-04

COLORADO — Colorado Avalanche fans are not done celebrating the team's Stanley Cup win on Sunday just yet. Fans are getting ready for Thursday's championship parade in Denver and stocking up on Avalanche merchandise in the meantime.

Throughout all the excitement, authorities are warning fans to be on the lookout for counterfeit Avalanche gear. Online websites and street vendors are places where phony gear can circulate.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is well aware of the issue.

"Believe it or not, we're gonna see scams related to the Avs championship, where people are going to promise could-be merchandise," Weiser said. "Do your homework and don't quickly put down money for something that may not be real."

False vendors are known to sacrifice the quality of their merchandise in order to get a larger profit. Things like logos, fonts and colors may be slightly different on phony gear.

Reed Oistad, assistant store leader of Scheel's in Colorado Springs, said fans should look out for special tags and stickers showing official branding. He acknowledges buying merchandise online is a bit trickier.

"It's hard to spots online sometimes, but a lot of times you can look up a company if there's no information on the company, maybe stay away from but it is a little bit of a risk," he said.

In February the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center seized over $97.8 million in counterfeit items during Operation Team Player, a year-round effort to crack down on the illegal importation of counterfeit sports gear.

In a press release, Steve Francis, Acting Executive Associate Director for Homeland Security Investigations, said the seizure was critical to prevent criminals from targeting unsuspecting consumers.

“Although the scale of global intellectual property theft and intellectual property rights violations have increased with the rapid growth of e-commerce platforms, law enforcement efforts have remained laser-focused on disrupting supply chains to stop the flow of illicit goods into the United States,” Francis said.
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