$24 million seized in counterfeit Super Bowl tickets and merchandise

National / World

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – JANUARY 27: An exterior view of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is seen on January 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Justin Heiman/Getty Images)

More than two dozen arrests were made in a multi-agency operation targeting counterfeit Super Bowl tickets and merchandise.

U.S. Immigration and Border officials confiscated nearly 300,000 items worth an estimated $24 million over the past year as part of “Operation Team Player.”

That’s almost $10 million more than last year’s seizure.

In a joint press conference Thursday, officials warned sports fans to be extra cautious of any scams.

“When you are buying tickets, you must consider the source. The safest route is always to purchase from an approved source. Many fans believe that if they are not purchasing tickets, for example, from a scalper on the street, that they are safe, that it’s OK to buy tickets on a third-party website because the sellers can be tracked and traced,” said Bill McSwain, attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. “I’m here to tell you that is not always the case. A majority of counterfeit sales happen not on the street, but actually happen through the internet.”

28 people have been arrested in the operation — and 21 were convicted.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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