With the regular NFL season in full swing, the danger of counterfeit game tickets once again is rearing its ugly head.  Last year, the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker received over 35,000 inquiries about ticket sales - and this year looks to be no different.  The BBB is warning fans to be on the lookout for more than phony tickets.  This issue goes well beyond getting denied entrance into the game you thought you paid for.

Once again this season, fraudsters will be trying to hock all kinds of bogus NFL gear.  Last year, the BBB received more than 9,000 scam notifications.  In February, more than $15 million worth of counterfeit gear was confiscated as part of operation "Team Player."  In total, 65 arrests and 24 convictions resulted when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) representatives teamed up with Homeland Security and U.S. Customs for a year long crackdown on the phony gear and those who sell it.  All-in-all, Claims Journal reports that 171,926 items were seized in that operation alone.

Before you rationalize your $10 "offishul" Drew Brees jersey by telling yourself the NFL has plenty of money, just think about these 2 things.  1. Not everyone who works for the NFL has NFL money.  If you buy an official (real) jersey, ticket, hat, etc. - not only are you protecting yourself from bogus goods made out of who-knows-what, you're protecting the industry that employs thousands of people.  2. When you buy non-official merchandise, where is your money going?

To learn more about how to avoid getting suckered this year, check out the BBB's tips to avoiding a scam here.

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