The U.S. Postal Inspection Service

Counterfeit Collectibles

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From the NHL logo on the sales tags to the colors of the Pittsburgh Penguin uniform, most parts of this counterfeit jersey look legitimate except that the hockey player’s name is stitched on wrong. EXP.2019-69, Courtesy of the United States Postal Inspection Service.

A hockey player's autograph is written on this counterfeit jersey (notice the name stitched on upside-down). Similar sports memorabilia stocked by an online store was sold with fraudulent certificates of authenticity. Most of sale items were not legitimately licensed merchandise, but many of these counterfeit footballs, helmets, team uniforms, and other collectibles had been signed by current and retired pro athletes. Customers' complaints led to an investigation by the US Postal Inspection Service, which shut down the multi-million-dollar scheme and secured a guilty plea in 2017.