Beware of Super Bowl ID Theft2 min read
While you’re getting pumped for these last few games before the big one – Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans – scammers are also getting pumped to take advantage of unsuspecting football fans just like you.
So while you’re thinking touchdowns, pizza, nachos and commercials, also think of how you can protect you and your family members from these criminals.
One of the most common scams around Super Bowl or any major sporting event is counterfeit memorabilia. There are lots of reasons to not buy counterfeit items: it feeds criminal activity, the items are almost always of poor quality and you put yourself at risk of theft, including different kinds of identity theft.
Counterfeit items are stolen items, plain and simple. When someone takes your favorite team’s name and logo and uses for their own profit, it is stealing. You may think that there’s no harm in buying these “unofficial items” but you are supporting criminal activity. On top of that, counterfeit items are usually cheaply produced and won’t last you as long as official merchandise, which is made of quality materials from reputable vendors. But worse than your jersey or ball cap falling apart in the washing machine is the risk you could face by being out the money you spent on the merchandise and more – you could fall victim to several types of identity theft. Consumers around the U.S. have reported credit card numbers and personal information being stolen when they ordered merchandise online from unofficial vendors. These so-called businesses get consumer’s credit card numbers and personal info and use it to drain their bank accounts and steal their identities. To avoid this, just buy your football gear from team or league websites, reputable stores or official vendors at the stadium.
The same kind of scam occurs with ticket sales bought and sold online. Thousands of event tickets are listed on classified sites. Never buy tickets online from unverifiable sellers. Buy tickets on sites like Ticketmaster and StubHub, which guarantee their ticket’s authenticity.
The identity theft types described above and associated with your favorite sports and sporting events are easily avoidable. Stay away from questionable websites and sellers, especially sites that require wire transfer of funds. If you come across a site that doesn’t seem authentic, visit the Better Business Bureau at http://www.BBB.com to check out the business. Remember that offers that sound too good to be true probably are.