SAN FRANCISCO–During Monday Night Football in Oakland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco partnered with NFL brand security representatives and state and local law enforcement officers to prevent counterfeit sales.
Monday’s seizures are part of a larger trend the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has tracked throughout the country. The National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center is reviewing an annual report on the number of IPR seizures that have raised the total estimated manufacturer’s suggested retail price of the seized goods – had they been genuine – to $1.4 billion.
“HSI San Francisco is committed to conducting intellectual property theft investigations throughout the year and preventing the sale of counterfeit goods during the home opener of the Oakland Raiders is just one example of HSI working to ensure that the public is purchasing legitimate products” said Tatum King, special agent in charge, HSI San Francisco and Northern California.
“The lost revenue equals lost jobs and counterfeit materials typically contain substandard products and can also be a safety risk to the public,” King said.
Although counterfeiters are increasingly more sophisticated, fans can keep several key factors in mind when making purchases to avoid being victimized:
- Shop at authorized retail locations, such as the official team stores rather than buying items from street vendors, flea markets, online auctions or other questionable sources
- Buy tickets from authorized dealers
- Look out for ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel
- If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. While some counterfeiters may attract fans with a low price tag or 2-for-1 deal, just as many try to legitimize their merchandise with a higher price point.
“Oakland Raiders fans attending the first game of the season deserve genuine products and the proceeds of counterfeit merchandise ends up in the hands of transnational criminal organizations engaged in varying types of illegal activities,” King added.
Purchasing authorized merchandise guarantees the quality and life of that souvenir, while also providing a reputable source for concerns, returns, and exchanges.