Fake Sochi gold offers may leave you off the Olympic products podium

You may not be headed to Sochi, Russia this month for the 2014 Winter Olympics, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your Olympic spirit in other ways.

One of the most popular methods of showing a little national spirit is by purchasing Olympic merchandise. However, when doing so remember to be aware of scams! Scammers know that Olympic merchandise is in super high demand now and this creates the perfect opportunity to sell counterfeit merchandise or simply steal people’s money.

A recent search on eBay showed 5,693 items for “Sochi 2014.” Many were authentic re-sales, but some were obviously fraudulent, including the “Olympic Torch Sochi 2014”, yours for only $7,000! You would most likely catch this blatant scam, but others might slip under your radar.

If you are thinking of buying Olympic gear and supporting your country’s team, make sure you are getting what you pay for, it’s the real deal and you don’t become the victim of a scam by following these tips:

  1. Familiarize yourself with Olympic logos, graphics and branding to easily spot a counterfeit.
  2. Consider shopping directly from the official website of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, sochi2014.com. It might be on the expensive side, but at least you know you are getting brand new and authentic Olympic merchandise.
  3. If you want to check out a product found elsewhere, or report counterfeit merchandise, hover over the little plus sign in the upper right corner and click on “Authentication.”
  4. If you want to buy U.S. or Canadian team merchandise, go to these official sites:  Team USA – teamusa.org or Team Canada – olympic.ca
  5. Always use a credit card to make online purchases. If the seller turns out to be fraudulent, then the consumer can dispute the charge with the credit card company and may be eligible for reimbursement.
  6. If you receive any unfamiliar or unsolicited email, don’t open any attachments or click on any links, even if it promises a great deal on Olympic apparel or other merchandise.

1 Comment

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One response to “Fake Sochi gold offers may leave you off the Olympic products podium

  1. Mark Burrows

    This is not a warning to take lightly. The International Olympic Committee aka IOC take the word Olympic and their logo very serious. I have seen them in action where they have forced restaurants who have been traditional Greek establishments for years to change their name Olympic Restaurant to something else. They will enforce this especially in hosting cities, surrounding urban, and suburbs.
    They also run a hard line as to the possession in nine tenths of the law. Never mind those selling counterfeit merchandise, they deem it illegal to own any merchandise or product bearing it’s name or logo that is not authorized. The only thing that passes is that which is homemade but not for the purpose of trade or sale. So yes, children can draw pictures without the IOC cops busting down your door. Yes, you can have a tattoo, although that is a grey area since the tattoo artist is not an authorized dealer, but there is something about personal art that is a loophole.
    Still, my point being, is that you can be criminally charged by being in possession of product or merchandise that is not authentic.
    The IOC is pushing hard to generate income and funds to keep the vitality of the Olympics as a productive and entertaining venue to enjoy every four years as per Summer or Winter Olympics which are alternated so there is an Olympic event every two years.
    So, you not only need to be careful where you buy, but what you buy. I am not accusing the IOC of entrapment. I do not know that for fact or fiction. Nor have I heard any rumor of such. I am only stating, it would not surprise me.

    Mark Burrows

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