Canada

Fraudster dupes Oilers fans with fake autographs on real McDavid jerseys

Connor McDavid’s name — or at least his fake signature — is being used by an unscrupulous vendor seeking to profit from the superstar’s fame, Edmonton police say.

Police have charged a 23-year-old man relating to two known scams: one in April 2018 in which an Edmonton resident bought two supposedly McDavid-autographed jerseys for $1,400 and a second incident from February in which an individual lost $23,000 in an “investment opportunity” that also involved autographed jerseys.

The man was contacting potential buyers through Facebook, claiming he was employed by either the Edmonton Oilers Entertainment Group or Pro Am Sports, police said.

It’s likely that there were other victims, police said in a Thursday morning news release.

“We are fortunate to have fans who support the team through the purchase of memorabilia but this is a good reminder for our fans to always go to trusted sources,” said Tim Shipton, the OEG’s head of communications in a news release.

OEG and Pro Am Sports have confirmed the autographs on the jerseys sold in April 2018 were not authentic, police said.

Autographed McDavid jerseys are prized by collectors and regularly sell for more than $1,000.

On its website, Upper Deck offers a jersey signed by No. 97 for $1,199.99 US.

A seller on Kijiji on Wednesday was offering a “certified authentic” autographed McDavid jersey for $1,000.

Pro Am Sports Excellence listed a signed McDavid jersey for $999.99, marked down, the website said, from $1,499.99.

Individuals shopping online can get tips on purchasing authentic autographed jerseys on the Pro Am Sports or Edmonton Oilers websites.

The 23-year-old accused has been charged with possession of a forged document, fraud over $5,000, fraud under $5,000 and false pretence. 

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