Jan 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA; General of mannequins with NFL uniforms and helmets at Macy

Super Bowl 48: Federal government seizes $21 million in counterfeit items

The Super Bowl attracts perhaps the largest audience in the world, both on television and also in person. It’s a Mecca for sports fans as there’s no event quite like the final game of the football season. But while the game is a happy and joyous occasion for fans, it also lures out criminal cockroaches from the seedy underbelly of the sports world, including those looking to scam innocent fans out of their money under the guise of the Super Bowl experience.

Super Bowl XLVIII is no exception, as counterfeiters were preparing to have a field day with tourists until the federal government swooped in and put an end to those plans. According to Bloomberg, federal officials seized over 200,000 counterfeit items including fake jerseys, bogus T-shirts and phony tickets valued in the range of $21 million.

Authorities arrested 50 people as part of an operation that began in June and targeted international shipments of counterfeit merchandise as they entered the U.S., according to a statement today from the enforcement agency.

The sports memorabilia business is valued in the billions but counterfeit items have plagued the market for years. Even professional teams are accused of faking items, as the New York Giants are battling allegations that they sold and gave away bogus items from the team locker room.

Super Bowl experiences are supposed to be memorable, and the seizing of over 200,000 fake items means far fewer fans will be getting scammed this time around.

Tags: Super Bowl XLVIII

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