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Law enforcement works to stop counterfeit products during Stanley Cup Final

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Posted at 11:06 PM, Jun 29, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. — While fans look for ways to cheer on the Lightning in the Stanley Cup Final, law enforcement is working to stop counterfeit items.

Homeland Security Investigations is looking at online purchases of potential counterfeit tickets as well as counterfeit merchandise.

“One of the nice things when it comes to counterfeiting with the Stanley Cup is we don’t get a lot of lee time so counterfeiters aren’t necessarily prepared to have it here in Tampa,” said Kevin Sibley, the acting special agent in charge.

So far, they haven’t seen a lot of counterfeiting activity. But Monday, Sibley said they seized 51 counterfeit items from a store, mostly t-shirts, which didn’t have indicators of official licensing. Websites are also already live, he said.

“Know who you’re dealing with know who you’re sending your money to. It’s great to support your team but you don’t want to support criminal organizations, potentially terrorism. Make sure if you’re buying online you’re using reputable websites,” Sibley said.

He also said you should look for products with holograms and logos that indicate official licensed merchandise, and that if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is.

“We do anticipate as the Stanley Cup continues to go on and if we do go all the way to a seventh game then counterfeiters will have an opportunity to get more counterfeit products here,” Sibley said.

Through Operation Team Player, a multi-agency effort, HSI has seized more than $600 million in counterfeit merchandise over several years.

Surrounding the Super Bowl earlier this year, it resulted in the seizure of more than 20,000 counterfeit items.