Consumer Alert: Sports Fans Targeted By Schemeers

6:09 PM, Jun 12, 2013   |    comments
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Sports memorabilia is a multi-billion dollar industry. Don't think the schemers aren't well aware of it and looking for its next victims.

Consumer Alerts is protecting your money so you don't loose bank showing off your team pride.

One father "thought" he hit a homerun when he won an online auction for the jersey of his son's favorite player.

"I was devastated. I bought the jersey for my son to give him as a present," said Dan, anonymous fraud victim. "He is a huge A-Rod fan and I was told it was fak. I felt victimized."

He bought the jersey off a site called Vintagae Authentics.
Dan was told he won a jersey A-Rod wore in 1997 with the Mariners - he quickly learned otherwise.

"There was an event where Alex Rodriquez was signing jerseys and I approached A-Rod," said Dan. "His representative said it was a fake."

Postal inspectors investigating Dan's case bought some items from the site, then went to the teams.

"The team looked at the material on the name plates and confirmed it is not the same material used in the jersey - they also looked at the color of the names and the graphics on the jerseys," said U.S. Postal Inspector Christopher Cizen.

Both the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners confirmed these jerseys were schemes. Inspectors say this is a growing problem, in fact, some people have no idea they have been taken.

"If they receive the item they may have hung it up on the wall and they are happy with their purchase," said Cizin. "They never would have known they were a victim."

Dan tried to contact Vintage Authentics, to no avail.

"When I found out it was not an authentic jersey I contacted the company and asked for my money back - least to say i never got my money back."

The owner of Vintage Authentics was arrested and is still awaiting sentencing.

Inspectors and consumer advocates recommend using credit cards - not debit cards or money orders for online purchases.

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