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U.S. Customs Seizes $1.3M Worth of Counterfeit Championship Rings

At least, that's the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price if they had been genuine.

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Championship rings have always been treasured items among sports fans and collectors alike. Unfortunately, buying these rings come at a great cost if you can get your hands on one, or in this instance 345 of them. Third party retailers often take advantage of this type of merchandise by selling counterfeit championship baseball, football, basketball, and hockey rings at a hefty price and consumers may not know the difference. Consumers need to be mindful when making online purchases to avoid being scammed. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Cincinnati recently seized a large shipment of counterfeit championship rings containing 345 rings.

In mid-April, officers at the Port of Cincinnati were inspecting freight from the Asia origin when they discovered a large shipment of counterfeit championship rings. The shipment originated in Hong Kong and was destined to a small business in the city of Utica, NY. The rings included team logos from the New York Yankees, Pittsburg Steelers, New England Patriots, Golden State Warriors, Chicago Bulls, Pittsburgh Penguins, and New Jersey Devils to name a few. A total of 345 rings were seized representing 18 different sports teams. 

Officers suspected these rings to be counterfeit based on their country of origin, low quality in appearance, and lack of substantial value. All 345 rings were determined to be counterfeit by CBP’s Centers for Excellence and Expertise (CEEs), the agency’s trade experts. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) would have been $1,380,000.00 had the shipment of rings been genuine.

“Our frontline officers at The Port of Cincinnati work tirelessly to protect consumers from illicit shipments,” said LaFonda Sutton-Burke, Director Field Operations-Chicago. “Profits from shipments like this one are often funneled into criminal organizations, and in return fund their illegal activities.”

Consumers are urged take these simple steps to protect themselves and their families from counterfeit goods:

*          Purchase goods directly from the trademark holder or from authorized retailers.

*          When shopping online, read seller reviews, check for a working U.S. phone number, and address that can be used to contact the seller.

*          Review CBP’s E-Commerce Counterfeit Awareness Guide for Consumers.

“With the influx on prices of goods, it is not uncommon to see consumers cutting back or looking for a good deal, but I encourage you to be cautious of third-party sellers,” said Cincinnati Port Director Alrick Brooks, “CBP encourages consumers to use the resources CBP offers online such as E-commerce Counterfeit Awareness Guide for Consumers. If you suspect illegal trade activity, CBP has the e-Allegations Online Trade Violations Reporting System.”

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