This week, a percentage of 700,000 pieces of mail coming in through the International Mail Branch at JFK Airport was in fact counterfeit NFL Super Bowl-related items.
Bill Rivera, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection chief officer for the mail branch, said the majority of counterfeit items are from China. He said boxes arrived at the facility this week containing products that may look authentic but when you are far from it when you take a closer look.
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This is what you should look out for: Plastic trim and panels on the apparel and no UPC or hologram stickers on the item labels. But Rivera said said the counterfeiters are becoming so sophisticated that now some items have counterfeit holograms.
Rivera said these rip-off jerseys are a health and safety hazard because the material is highly flammable.
In 2013, the JFK international mail facility took in a total of $660 million in all types of counterfeit items, from prescription drugs to an assortment of other items. Homeland Security Department investigators take it from there in finding out who sent the items.
Meantime, it is up to the trademark company to decide what to do with all of these counterfeit jerseys: to send them back overseas or to discard them.