Fraudulent Sabres merchandise website shut down

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/A screenshot of the fraudulent website before it was taken down.

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The Buffalo Sabres, NHL, and Better Business Bureau recently worked together to shut down a website selling counterfeit merchandise.

A Sabres fan recently filed a complaint with the BBB of Upstate New York after ordering from a website that looked legitimate- until the product they ordered didn’t come, and there was no way to contact the site owners.

The website, hockeysabresshop.com, passed itself off as “the official online store of the Buffalo Sabres”. The BBB reached out to the owners of the site several times during the investigation, asking for more information about the company.

The BBB found that the domain name hockeysabresshop.com is overseas, and that the site was using the BBB logo fraudulently.

The complaint stated that the website “looked professional until I realized payment was made through a third party, there’s no contact number or any physical address, the language in some of the descriptions is not proper English (poor grammar and punctuation).

BBB worked with the NHL and Buffalo Sabres to shut the website down through a federal court order, a statement from the BBB said Tuesday.

The BBB offers the following tips to avoid purchasing counterfeit products:

  • Shop in established stores and on reputable websites. Try to shop at the team’s own store or website or at an authorized retailer. If you are not familiar with a website or business, make sure to look it up at bbb.org first to see its rating, complaint history, and reviews from past customers.
  • Ensure that any website where you’re shopping is legitimate: Hover over links, check that the spelling and grammar is professional, and double check the URL and logo. It’s easy for scammers to create a fake website imitating a brand in an attempt to phish consumers.
  • Beware of too-good-to-be-true deals. If you see an ad for an expensive item at a low price, be careful. It probably means it’s counterfeit. Don’t click on ads you see online, on social media or that come in an unsolicited email. Even if the email or ad is from a brand you’ve heard of, look up the URL independently because it may be phishing.
  • Buy sports merchandise that’s officially licensed. You can find authentic licensed merchandise and official retailers and resellers on the official website of your favorite team or league. Authentic apparel will always have the correct fonts, colors and spelling, attached tags will usually have hologram stickers, and there won’t be any loose threads or other signs of poor quality.
  • Make sure your transactions are secure. Don’t make a purchase unless you’re sure the transaction is secure. Businesses that sell counterfeit goods may also have poor security. Look for “https:”, where the “s” stands for secure, and other trust marks. Websites should also have a privacy policy.

The bottom line?

“Trust your instincts- if you aren’t comfortable with any aspect of your purchasing experience, it’s better just to walk away,” the BBB warned.

If you stumble across a counterfeit website, it should be reported to the BBB scam tracker, the brand owner and the authorities. For more information, click here. 

 

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