NFL counterfeits linked to toxins, ID theft
An official, adult-sized Seahawks game jersey starts at around $100 at the Century Link Pro Shop and anywhere else that sells official, authorized NFL merchandise.
But the Better Business Bureau is warning fans to watch out for venders selling NFLfakes. Many websites offer copycat game jerseys that appear to be the real thing for as little as $23.
Law enforcement agents say counterfeit NFL merchandise is costing legitimate businesses more than 17 million a year in lost revenue. However, there's more than money at stake.
"We know that many of these counterfeit items are unsafe," said Andrew Munoz with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Seattle. "They are unsafe for consumers."
Federal investigators say when they analyzed imported counterfeits seized in recent operations, they found excessive levels of lead, toxic chemicals and other hazardous heavy metals. And customs enforcers warn fan when you buy knock-offs online, you could be buying from organized criminal enterprises that don't care about any laws.
"You're providing your credit card information, your home address, your phone number, to a criminal to criminal organization that could possibly use that information to wreck your credit and steal your identity," Munoz added.