ALERT: Undercover agents cracking down on fake Super Bowl gear

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
How to Avoid Buying a Counterfeit Ticket

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Undercover agents are cracking down on counterfeit Super Bowl merchandise.

>> Read more trending news

Federal agents told WSB-TV the raid should send a strong message to criminals looking to cash in.

“It’s Super Bowl week, and while it’s a major event for fans, it’s also a major event for criminals,”  Bryan Cox, with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland, said. “There’s a lot of money coming into town, and criminal networks want some of that money.”

Within seconds, agents found what they were looking for inside a College Park discount mall.

Explore>> Related: Not a football fan? Here are 8 non-sports things to do in Atlanta Super Bowl weekend

Merchandise was being sold that was not officially licensed.

You can tell if the gear is authentic by the stitching, holograms and other markings. It's also no secret that legitimate NFL merchandise is expensive.

While shopkeepers scattered, Diamant watched as agents pulled suspected fake gear and cut-rate hats and jerseys off the walls.

As an expert from the NFL confirmed the counterfeits, the cops catalogued the haul.

“Criminal organizations are looking to fund themselves. Counterfeiting is just one pathway that they use to fund that criminal organization," Cox said. “So, when you funnel the profits up, they’re going to criminal groups who can use this for a variety of other crimes -- drugs, guns, violence. You name it.”

Explore>> Related: Federal court hears NFL arguments over blown Rams, Saints call

Agents also said the raid wasn't a one-off. They said they'll be working with state and local partners all week with a clear message: They're out looking for fakes, and if they find them, they're going to take them.

An exterior view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium is seen on January 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, where Super Bowl LIII kicks off on Feb. 3 between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.
Caption
An exterior view of Mercedes-Benz Stadium is seen on January 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, where Super Bowl LIII kicks off on Feb. 3 between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams.

Credit: Justin Heiman

Credit: Justin Heiman