RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As the Carolina Panthers keep pounding towards and undefeated season, more and more fans want to get their hands on a jersey in store and online.
“There is a very high demand at the moment,” said Andrew Peterson, manager at Game Day Sports Outlet in Raleigh.
But some deals are a scam.
WNCN’s Chris Bullard said he saw an ad that he believed to be from the NFL Shop.
Bullard wanted a couple jerseys for he and his wife as the Panthers enter the final four games of the regular season.
The ad on his Facebook feed contained a sale that seemed too good to be true.
That’s because it was.
“I open the box and the first thing I notice is, it’s Carolina, but it’s the wrong Carolina. Anybody who’s a Panthers fan understands Panthers blue and this is not Panthers blue,” Bullard said.
The jerseys have stitching and logos that look authentic. The tags even have a NFL logo hologram.
But the link took him to nflshop-us.com, not nflshop.com.
“They did such a good job on the site, I wouldn’t have even though to check that,” said Bullard.
The fake site even rips off the actual NFL Shop banner.
But the counterfeit site has its errors, including a lot of misspelled words and sentences that didn’t make sense.
“One portion mentioned if there was a stain on the jersey, they hoped you could wash it instead of return it,” said Bullard.
WNCN Investigates traced the site back to web host in China.
“They got me 100 percent,” joked Bullard.
Peterson said he was surprised at how far the counterfeiters went to make the jersey seem authentic.
He said it not only cheats you out of jersey but it also hurts the actual retailers selling authentic products.
“A lot of that you won’t be able to tell until you get it to your home and then sadly most of the time you can’t refund it,” said Peterson.
Peterson said an unbelievable price is usually the first red flag. So double-check the site or you might be representing the wrong Carolina.
“I mean it’s a great knock-off except for the fact that they’re a little color blind,” said Bullard.
WNCN Investigates checked in with the North Carolina Secretary of State who helps track counterfeit goods.
The state has collected more than $9 million in counterfeit materials this year, with more than a $500,000 being sporting goods.