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SAN DIEGO – Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Diego is cautioning fans to beware of individuals and businesses selling counterfeit merchandise or tickets during 2022 Major League Baseball (MLB) National League Champion Series (ALCS) in San Diego. The city of San Diego is host to games one and two of the series and would host a potential game six or seven if they are needed.

“Counterfeiters will sell fake clothing, merchandise, and tickets to prey on unsuspecting fans during postseason professional sporting events like the NLCS because there is a great deal of demand locally,” said Special Agent in Charge Chad Plantz, HSI San Diego. “To protect baseball fans from unknowingly spending their hard-earned money on substandard merchandise or fraudulent tickets, HSI, along with local law enforcement, is aggressively targeting anyone who attempts to take advantage of the public by selling knock-off and inferior items.”

Fans who are planning on purchasing merchandise or tickets for the NLCS are encouraged to exercise due diligence to ensure the items they purchase are authentic. Specifically, HSI recommends fans:

  • Shop only at authorized retail locations, rather than street vendors, flea markets or other questionable sources.
  • Purchase tickets from a reputable dealer such as the website for the San Diego Padres or Major League Baseball. If you purchase tickets on the secondary market, stick with reputable companies and double check the website’s guarantee.
  • Avoid purchasing items where the price seems too good to be true.
  • Check for poor stitching, ripped tags, irregular markings, or misspellings on apparel.

Individuals who believe they have been the victim of counterfeiting during the NLCS can report the matter to their local law enforcement or to the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center) by filling out their online tip form.

HSI works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement through Operation Team Player, a year-round effort developed by the IPR Center to crack down on the illegal importation of counterfeit sports apparel and entertainment merchandise. Last year, between February 2021 and February 2022, the IPR Center seized more than 267,511 counterfeit sports-related items worth an estimated $97.8 million during Operation Team Player.

For more than two decades, the IPR Center, working collaboratively with its public-private sector partners, has led the effort in the government’s response to combat global intellectual property theft and enforce intellectual property rights violations. The center was established to combat global intellectual property theft; and accordingly, has a significant role in policing the sale and distribution of counterfeit goods on websites, social media, and the dark web.

ICE breaking news HSI San Diego cautions consumers to beware counterfeit merchandise, tickets during upcoming NLCS games in San Diego Government Agency News