Feds work to keep counterfeit Super Bowl gear off market - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Feds work to keep counterfeit Super Bowl gear off market

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The Super Bowl is two days away. Fans packed the stores in Austin Friday to get their last minute Broncos and Seahawks gear. Law enforcement is doing its best to make sure what you're buying is real.

Federal agents raided a New Jersey flea market earlier this week just in time for the Super Bowl. Agents seized counterfeit NFL items; that if real, would be worth $113 thousand dollars.

"It really hurts our American industry in the U.S," said U.S. Department of Homeland Security Agent Joe Ortega.

The gear at Fanzz in Barton Creek Mall in Austin is authentic. Employees there say the calls and customers have been non-stop.

"The second I opened the doors we had eight people go right to that front table with the shirts on it," manager Arthur Rogers said.

Jerseys are quickly running out of stock as the Super Bowl approaches.

"I'm from Texas State I drove around San Marcos and couldn't find anything," said customer Cary Poarch.

Don't be quick to settle, especially when shopping online.

"We surf the net to identify these sites so we can seize them," said Ortega.

Since the fall, investigators with Homeland Security's National Intellectual Property Rights Group have shut down numerous websites. Special Agent Joe Ortega says the leading countries who make the fake items utilize child labor. When you buy an item, you support that.

Ortega showed us some of the fakes. It's difficult to tell unless you see the items in person.

Fanzz manager Arthur Rogers gave us some advice. He said look for the NFL shield, quality stitching, player tags and matching price. A $40 jersey he says is not authentic. Real jerseys go for $150 to $250 dollars.

It's a lot of money, but to be in the jersey of your team the moment they win--that's priceless.

To report counterfeit violations call the National Intellectual Property Rights Group at 1-866-IPR-2060.

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