KSL ALL-STAR ACCESS

Buying fake NBA All-Star merch online poses identity theft risk

Feb 17, 2023, 8:39 AM

SALT LAKE CITY — Something else besides NBA All-Stars and their fans has come to town this week — counterfeit merch. Often the talk about counterfeit goods centers around poor-quality gear made of questionable materials that easily shrink, fade or fall apart. But not all the dangers are always obvious — especially if you are shopping online.

“There is a massive amount of counterfeit, fake merchandise out there,” said cybersecurity expert Earl Foote of Nexus IT Consultants. He warned not all the fake All-Star jerseys, T-shirts, hats and other merchandise is getting sold on the street or at flea markets. The bad guys have also set up fake websites, using legit product photos and not just to sell you shoddy rip-offs.

“Many of those websites are set up to steal your credit card information, to steal your PII, or your personally identifiable information,” Foote said.

Do not just watch out for fake websites. Foote said shoppers should be skeptical of ads touting NBA All-Star gear that pops up on their social media.

“Anybody can buy an ad from Facebook, from Google from, you know, wherever it is, if they’re willing to pay the money,” he explained. “They have the links in those ads, malware planted in them so all you have to do is click on the ad and malware will download to your device. It provides a backdoor to hackers. Not only can they steal your data and your money, but they can plant malware, ransomware on your computer and completely encrypt it.”

Foote said to check the website before you buy anything.

“Look for pretty poor design, misaligned graphics. The copy might be poor,” he said. “Look at the URL, which is the website address. Does it make sense, or is it random? Is it weird? Is it U.S. based, or is the website somewhere else?”

Scammers also fool people with an ever-so-slight change in that web address, such as adding an extra letter.

Vivint Arena transforms for NBA All-Star event

“If you see some ad that takes you to NBAA.com (instead of NBA.com) and you don’t notice it, you’re going to get duped,” Foote warned.

Also, a site’s address needs to start with HTTPS: S meaning secured and encrypted.

“If you see anything out there that’s just HTTP, no matter whether it’s related to the NBA All-Star weekend or not, I would never give my information or credit card information to a website that is not secure with that S,” Foote cautioned.

But your best bet in avoiding cheap All-Star knockoffs and real identity theft is to cough up some more dough and buy from the real sellers.

“Go to the NBA Store, right? Go directly to the source. Don’t go to random websites,” Foote said. “Go to retailers that you know are authorized to sell NBA merch or memorabilia.”

Online purchase scams continued to be the most reported scam type to BBB Scam Tracker in 2022, making up nearly a third of all scams reported and over 70% of those involving loss of money.

KSL 5 TV Live

KSL All-Star Access

A promotional video showing the LED court that will be used during the All-Star games....

Tim Reynolds, AP Basketball Writer

NBA set to play on an LED glass court for some All-Star weekend events

For the first time, the NBA will play on glass. Part of All-Star weekend in Indianapolis — including the entire All-Star Saturday Night lineup — will be played on a state-of-the-art, full video LED court.

26 days ago

(KSL TV)...

Katija Stjepovic

Local Black-owned businesses participate in weekend retail experience

Many Black-owned businesses saw a welcomed economic boost from NBA All-Star weekend. Now, the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce wants to keep that alive with a new weekend retail experience.

12 months ago

Bottles of alcohol...

Shelby Lofton

State says temporary liquor store set up for All-Star weekend was a success

State officials say the temporary liquor store set up for NBA All-Star weekend was a success, but they're also looking at ways to improve.

1 year ago

Savanah Norman...

Tamara Vaifanua

Local makeup artist stands out during NBA All-Star weekend

KSL TV's Tamara Vaifanua introduces us to a local makeup artist who picked up her most famous client to date – Gabrielle Union.

1 year ago

This week on Sunday Edition, Doug Wright and his guests look at the impact the NBA All-Star weekend...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: NBA All-Stars, Legislative Session 2023 Final Weeks

This week on Sunday Edition, Doug Wright and his guests look at the impact the NBA All-Star weekend will have on Utah and the final weeks of the 2023 legislative session.

1 year ago

(Ryan Young)...

Debbie Worthen

Utah father, son given free tickets to NBA All-Star Game after chance encounter

A father and son from Draper, Utah, got the surprise of a lifetime during the NBA All-Star weekend.

1 year ago

Sponsored Articles

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Users display warnings about the use of artificial intelligence (AI), access to malicious software ...

Les Olson

How to Stay Safe from Cybersecurity Threats

Read our tips for reading for how to respond to rising cybersecurity threats in 2023 and beyond to keep yourself and your company safe.

Buying fake NBA All-Star merch online poses identity theft risk