Milwaukee, Wis. – Now that the Milwaukee Bucks are NBA Champions, you may be on the hunt for a Bucks jersey, a “Fear the Deer” t-shirt or other memorabilia to commemorate the team’s first championship since 1971. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) Serving Wisconsin warns shoppers to research online websites and steer clear of scammers selling counterfeit merchandise.
Scammers have been known to create fake websites and offer apparel and other sports memorabilia at unbelievably low prices and claim it is licensed merchandise. Unfortunately, what consumers receive from these fraudulent sites is cheap, knock-off merchandise (if they receive anything at all), with glued-on logos, misspelled player names, poor quality and more. One Appleton consumer complained to BBB, “It was a bad fake jersey that was unwearable–the neck hole was too small for any human to put their head through it.”
BBB offers these tips to protect yourself from purchasing counterfeit Bucks merchandise:
Be wary of deals that seem too good to be true or search results when using terms, such as “cheap Milwaukee Bucks jerseys”. If the price of an item is significantly less than what it is on other well-known retailers’ sites, this is a red flag that it might be a scam. One such site offered Giannis Antetokounmpo jerseys for $26, far below the $150 price tag at the Milwaukee Bucks’ official pro shop store.
Research the company before you purchase. If the company is unfamiliar, check BBB.org to see if it has a BBB Business Profile, or BBB Scam Tracker to see if anyone else has reported it as a scam. Look for contact information on the website such as a phone number, or a brick-and-mortar address, as well as a robust social media presence to help determine if the company truly does exist.
Shop with a credit card. In case of a fraudulent transaction, a credit card provides additional protections; it’s easier to dispute charges that you didn’t approve or to get your money back if there is a problem. Debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.
Never wire money or use a prepaid debit card as payment. Both payment types are often requested by scammers and, once the money is gone, there is no way to get the money back.
Think before you click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and “click bait” online ads on social media sites, where many sketchy retailers advertise great deals that don’t measure up. Or, they could download malware onto your computer.For more information or further inquiries, contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.bbb.org/wisconsin, 414-847-6000 or 1-800-273-1002. Consumers also can find more information about how to protect themselves from scams by following the Wisconsin BBB on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.