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FBI Warns Chicago Sports Fans of Fake Sports Memorabilia

As the holiday season is moving it, items commemorating the Chicago Clubs historic World Series win are sure to be popular gifts. The FBI is asking the public to be aware of consumer schemes selling counterfeit Cubs memorabilia.

“Following the great season the Chicago Cubs just had, counterfeits may use this time as a good opportunity to take advantage of the fans’ excitement and distribute questionable items to the public. These items can include anything from autographs to game-used items such as jerseys, bats, balls and caps. We can also see a flood of unlicensed T-shirts and other items commemorating this special year,” Said FBI Special Agent Brian Brusokas, a member of the FBI’s Art Crimes team, which investigates fraud regarding collectibles.

Before purchasing any limited edition item like a photo, card set, or display items, Brusokas said that consumers should know the edition size because some limited edition memorabilia is only limited by the level of consumer interest in the item. Buyers of game used items such as jerseys should know what a genuine Cubs on-field jersey looks like, paying close attention to details such as the stitching patters used to affix nameplates and patches to the jersey. Photographs can prove helpful in researching such details. With respect to autographed items, buyers should considering comparing the signature on the item to known signatures of that player, and if the signature has been authenticated, buyers should also consider the qualifications of the authentication.

No matter what collectible item you are looking to buy, please note the following:

  • Before you buy, know who you are buying from and what their refund policy is.
  • Always be mindful that if an item seems too good to be true, it probably is.