After 89 years, the NFL’s Washington Redskins franchise has finally decided to change its controversial name which has long been criticized for demeaning Native Americans.  The team will temporarily be known by the tremendously creative moniker of the Washington Football Team.  Meanwhile, the termination of the old name and the refusal of major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart and Target to sell Redskins jerseys, caps and other merchandise carrying the old name and logo has created a demand by many people seeking to purchase the soon to be rare merchandise with the old name and logo.  While there are legitimate sellers of these items, scammers have also sprung into action and have set up websites offering the merchandise at bargain prices.  Of course these bargain prices are no bargain because after you order the merchandise online, the merchandise never comes. While it is relatively easy to examine merchandise when you purchase it at a brick and mortar store for the substandard quality of counterfeit merchandise as shown by low quality fabrics, loose stitching and off-center logos, you can never be sure when you buy sports merchandise online as to whether it is legitimate or not.  Official NFL merchandise will have a hologram tag attached to the item, which is readily apparent in a store, but not when purchasing online.  In the case of these phony websites selling non-existent Redskins merchandise, you don’t even receive shoddy merchandise.  You receive nothing.

TIPS

If an offer sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  You may wish to restrict your shopping to well-known, legitimate retailers and even then, make sure you are actually on their websites and not that of a scammer.  You can do this by going to https://www.whois.com/whois/ where you can find out who actually owns the website where you are considering shopping.  If, for instance, the Target website you are considering using is registered as being owned by someone in Nigeria, you can be sure it is a scam.  You also can go to http://www.resellerratings.com/ for reviews about particular merchants to find out if they are legitimate.

Even when shopping on a website that you are sure is legitimate, it is important to remember that while your liability for fraudulent use of your credit card is limited by federal law to no more than $50, your liability for fraudulent use of your debit card which is tied to  your bank account is unlimited if you do not promptly discover and report the fraud so always use your credit card for shopping whether you are shopping online or offline.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

If you are not a subscriber to Scamicide.com and would like to receive daily emails with the Scam of the day, all you need to do is to go to the bottom of the initial page of http://www.scamicide.com and click on the tab that states “Sign up for this blog.”