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Intellectual Property Rights and Commercial Fraud
10/28/2019

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Houston Homeland Security Investigations warns to beware of counterfeit World Series tickets, merchandise

HOUSTON — With the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series set to return to Houston for game six and possibly game seven, the Houston office of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Monday warns the public to beware of purchasing counterfeit sports apparel, tickets, and all-access passes or stadium credentials.  

During the first two games of the 2019 World Series, HSI encountered an increase in the sale of counterfeit tickets.

“Baseball fans won’t be able to celebrate being a part of the action if they buy fake World Series tickets,” said HSI Houston’s Assistant Special Agent in Charge (ASAC) Richard Halverson. “During major sporting events, criminals routinely prey on consumers by selling counterfeit game tickets and merchandise to unwitting fans.  These criminals take advantage of celebrating fans who let down their guard.”

According to ASAC Halverson, the best way to ensure you are getting an authentic ticket is to purchase tickets through the official MLB website or through an authorized ticket broker.  Avoid buying items from street vendors, flea markets, online auctions or other questionable sources.  However, if you buy tickets or memorabilia on the street or on social media, beware of the following red flags:

  • Poor print coloring;
  • Misspellings in the large or small print;
  • Seat section’s that don't exist for Minute Maid Park;
  • Ticket for a different year, game or series;
  • Printing is blurred, slanted or runs off the edge of the ticket; and
  • Deal that seems too good to be true — it probably is;

The HSI-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center is one of the U.S. government's key weapons in the fight against criminal counterfeiting and piracy. Working in close coordination with the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property, the IPR Center uses the expertise of its member agencies to share information, develop initiatives, coordinate enforcement actions and conduct investigations related to intellectual property theft. To report IP theft or to learn more about the IPR Center, visit the http://www.iprcenter.gov/.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 10/28/2019