ST. LOUIS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers recently seized a shipment of fake Super Bowl championship rings heading to the St. Louis area from China.
On November 11, U.S. Customs officers found hundreds of fake rings at an express consignment operations hub in St. Louis. Authorities seized a shipment containing 422 rings reading “Super Bowl Champion” and bearing a design of three Lombardi Trophies.
The shipment was arriving from China and was heading to a residence in Jerseyville, Illinois, according to a news release from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
One import specialist determined the rings were not authentic and bore an infringing trademark owned by NFL Properties. That had been recorded with CBP for border enforcement through a recordation program.
“Counterfeit jewelry continues to flood the e-commerce market, and these rings were focused on a select group of sports collectors and their fans,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, Director of Field Operations-Chicago. “Our officers are well-trained to find counterfeit merchandise like these in support of CBP’s mission of protecting the American public and the American economy.”
“This is just another example of the work our officers do to protect consumers and the U.S. economy,” said St. Louis’s Port Director. “As consumers increasingly purchase from online or third-party vendors, our officers are at the frontline to guard against defrauders expecting to make money selling fake merchandise.”
If the items were genuine, the total manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the shipment would have been valued at more than $300,000. Customs officers say the shipment could allow sellers to take advantage of sports fans by selling fake merchandise to generate profits for other illegal activities.
To prevent such transactions, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers the following feedback for consumers:
- Trust your instincts, and don’t fall for a “too good to be true” deal. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- When shopping online this holiday season, read reviews and look at product photos, check seller information, and inspect product packaging for obvious errors upon arrival.
- Make sure that you are always shopping from well-known and reputable sources.