U-S Postal inspectors in Pittsburgh say they've seen a dramatic increase in the number of counterfeit products that are being shipped to the area related to the Penguins. In one day alone this past month, inspectors confiscated 78 boxes of counterfeit jerseys with the Penguins logo estimated to be worth $250,000 on the retail market. Andrew Richards, Postal Inspector in Pittsburgh, says the unlicensed clothing is coming primarily out of China. He says the individuals who did the ordering have been confronted and a determination will be made later by prosecutors about whether any criminal action will take place.
Investigators want to warn consumers that the counterfeit items are in the area. Richards says it's difficult to identify knock-off products because the manufacturers are more sophisticated. He says before you could look for NFL or NHL holograms to denote genuine articles. But Richards says on the fake jerseys they are producing counterfeit holograms. He says a tip off is when an item is being sold for considerably less than what can be found in normal retail outlets. He also says if you buy from someone on the street, chances are they are not a licensed vendor. The counterfeit sports items show up throughout the year, but Richards says it's when a team is doing well, such as now with the Penguins in the Stanley Cup championship, that they see an influx of the fake goods being shipped into the area. Postal inspectors are helped in their efforts to track down the fake items through the help of the NHL and and sports teams.