Spot the knockoffs: Counterfeiters prey on Bruins fans at playoffs

 Boston Bruins fans from all over are flocking to Boston with their wallets in hand to enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Joe Walsh, flew in from Idaho with his father to go go to the games at the TD Garden. PHOTO BY NICOLAUS CZARNECKI/METRO
Boston Bruins fans from all over are flocking to Boston with their wallets in hand to enjoy the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Joe Walsh, flew in from Idaho with his father. Credit: Nicolaus Czarnecki/Metro

Imitation may be the most sincere form of flattery, but as far as counterfeiters are concerned, selling imitation duds means real dollars.

Playoff season is a perfect time for knockoff artists to sell fake wares to sports fans, but the cheap goods come with a price. Counterfeit merchandise is flimsy, and often falls apart or fades within weeks, not to mention fuels an illegal activity that sucks money from legitimate brands.

“It’s a good time for counterfeiters to be selling Bruins stuff. These ‘entrepreneurs’ are trying to make a buck, but it’s against the law,” said Tom Taylor, a counterfeiting expert with OpSec Security in Copley, which handles anti-counterfeiting for the NHL.

So, what can be faked?

“You name it. Anything from shirts to top-end Bruins sweaters, hats, trinkets. If it will sell, there is somebody in the world trying to counterfeit it,” said Taylor.

Taylor said sports fans can avoid knockoffs by looking closely at garment tags and trinket stickers. Legit NHL garment tags have the league’s logo, and if there are patches, they should be raised.

Other bobbles should have individually serialized stickers. Salesmen often lurk in the TD Garden parking lot and sell merch from their cars, so avoid them.

“Use common sense,” said Taylor. “Where are you buying it? In general, these (unlicensed) vendors like to sell outside T stations, or in Downtown Crossing, or in public parks. People don’t realize until a week later when the stuff starts to unravel, and by that time the vendor is long gone.”

For many sports fans, figuring out what’s fake and what’s legit is a matter of facing reality. Licensed products are almost always more costly, so if the price is too good to be true, it is probably an impostor.

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
Follow Metro Boston on Twitter: @MetroBOS


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.