Report: Counterfeit Winter Olympics merchandise luring South Koreans

By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Dec. 8, 2017 at 12:29 PM
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Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A recent craze for the official jacket of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics has given way to other sought-after items being sold in limited editions, including sneakers and backpacks bearing the logo of the Winter Games.

The nationwide craze for the merchandise, however, is also creating a market for counterfeit goods online, South Korean news network MBN reported Friday.

Marketers are taking advantage of unsuspecting buyers and luring them to purchase products that look similar online, and are being sold under brands like, "PengChang" that sound similar to the name of the city where the games are to be held in February.

Their strategy may be working, because official products are being produced in limited numbers, including sneakers, and demand could exceed supply.

Ahn Woong, a public relations representative at South Korea's Lotte Department Store, where the merchandise is being sold, told MBN about 120,000 people made advanced reservations for the newly issued sneakers.

There are 200,000 limited pairs of the shoes being sold on the market.

The "PyeongChang Winter Olympics long padding" coat that attracted public attention in November are identical to the "bench coats" that athletes wear when they are resting.

Only 30,000 coats were available to the public last month, according to Quartz.

Counterfeiters online are vying for a piece of the shopping action with advertisements for "Pengchang long padding" coats that resemble the original in design.

Anonymous sellers are hawking the goods on South Korean social media platforms, according to the city of Seoul's cybersecurity team, which is monitoring and apprehending counterfeiters, MBN reported.

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