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MLB and law enforcement groups form coalitions to protect fans from counterfeit merchandise and tickets

Major League Baseball and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies are collaborating to crack down on the production and sale of counterfeit merchandise and tickets during MLB All-Star Week.

Undercover investigators will be on the lookout for counterfeit merchandise and tickets throughout the Twin Cities during MLB All-Star Week, including in and around Target Field, the Minneapolis Convention Center (home of T-Mobile All-Star FanFest) as well as at manufacturing facilities, retail stores and sidewalk vendor locations.

Law enforcement officials will be aggressively enforcing local ordinances, vendor permit requirements, and state and federal counterfeiting laws during All-Star Week in order to protect consumers from purchasing substandard products as well as to protect legitimate manufacturers and vendors who invest money and other resources to provide consumers with high quality, official MLB products. According to the International Chamber of Commerce, businesses worldwide annually lose an estimated $600 billion to counterfeiting.

Major League Baseball offers the following tips to help fans avoid purchasing counterfeit souvenirs:

• Look for the hologram sticker or holographic hangtag with raised red baseball stitching design.

• Look for a sewn-in or screenprinted label or notice identifying a licensee that has been authorized by Major League Baseball Properties to produce "official" merchandise.

• Shop at MLB-authorized retail locations, such as the Official Team Store and, the official web site of MLB - rather than buying items from itinerant street vendors, flea markets, or other questionable sources.

• Beware of ripped tags or irregular markings on apparel.

If you have any questions about the authenticity of merchandise, please feel free to call the CAPS toll free hot line (800) TEL-CAPS (835-2277).