SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The NBA Finals are in full swing, and plenty of Warriors fans have looked to commemorate this year’s run with gear. But while the Warriors are selling their own, licensed merchandise, the NBA says counterfeiters are in the Bay Area looking to sell knock-off equipment.

Counterfeiters target major events like the NBA Finals. An NBA representative warned that counterfeit gear may fade, fall apart or shrink.

“In San Francisco and beyond, counterfeiters take advantage of consumers who want genuine, quality NBA merchandise and tickets – and take away from their overall NBA Finals experience,” said Ayala Deutsch, NBA Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel.

To avoid buying fake merchandise, the association offered five tips for fans to spot it:

  • Shop at NBA-authorized retail locations, such as Chase Center and local Dick’s Sporting Goods and Lids retailers, rather than from street vendors, flea markets or other questionable sources. Or shop online at NBAStore.com.
  • Look for the official NBA hologram sticker or holographic hangtag and a sewn-in or screen-printed label identifying the name of the NBA licensee (e.g., Nike, Fanatics, New Era, Mitchell & Ness).
  • Beware of ripped tags, irregular markings or misspellings on apparel.

The NBA is working with law enforcement to crack down on the sale of counterfeit merchandise. An NBA representative also said that law enforcement has discovered links between selling counterfeit goods and organized crime groups in the past.

“Teaming up with the NBA and local authorities, HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) is committed to protecting consumers and lawful businesses from harm by these counterfeiters. Of particular interest to our Bay area community, the trade of counterfeit goods has been linked to illegal trade practices, including human trafficking and forced labor, so we ask everyone to only seek out merchandise from legitimate retailers,” said Tatum King, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations San Francisco.