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How to avoid scams on sporting tickets, merchandise

Missouri House votes to crackdown on online ticket scalping
Posted at 4:01 PM, Feb 02, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-02 19:26:07-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Within minutes of the Kansas City Chiefs securing another trip to the Super Bowl, Kansas Citians began flocking to the stores for merchandise and searching online for tickets to the big game.

But, if buyers are not careful, they could wind up broke and with nothing to show for it, said TaeKuk Cho, special agent for Homeland Security Investigations.

"I think consumers and investigators, we have to pay attention to the quality of items that are being purchased," Cho said.

When it comes to buying merchandise, like Jerseys, Cho said there are specific details to look out for to ensure it's not counterfeit.

"Authentic jerseys will be made of heavier material," Cho said. "The numbers will be crisp and clear. The stitching will be high quality."

On counterfeit jerseys, Cho said the stitch is often sloppy. Cho also said buyers should pay close attention to the tag, which should have a hologram logo.

"Those are not easy to reproduce," Cho said.

Also, look for where the jersey was manufactured. The official manufacturer for NFL jerseys only produces in Guatemala and El Salvador.

"If you see a jersey that says made in China in the headline — it's gonna be counterfeit," Cho said.

As for tickets, ensuring those are legitimate is a bit more difficult.

"You're really not going to know if a ticket is counterfeit or not until you actually go to the venue and try to get it scanned online," Cho said.

Websites like Ticket Master are safe, but buyers should prepare to pay fees, which can be costly.

According to the Better Business Bureau, consumers can protect themselves by purchasing tickets with a credit card, confirming the tickets are legitimate with the venue and avoiding payment through third-party sites like Venmo.

In the end, Cho said to beware of major discounts.

"If it seems too good to be true, it probably is," he said.