Protecting You from Counterfeits

Posted in News on July 22, 2014

By Elaine Chase

Elaine Chase is the vice president, global brand strategy and marketing for Wizards of the Coast.

Late last year, players started reporting pockets of counterfeit Magic: The Gathering cards entering circulation. Safeguarding the integrity of the game is something Wizards of the Coast takes extremely seriously, so we immediately launched a series of comprehensive, globe-spanning investigations. We recognize this is an issue the player community also deeply cares about, but we were unable to comment while certain aspects of the investigation were pending. Today, we are happy to finally be able to share some of our recent accomplishments with you.

In cooperation with law enforcement agents as well as private partners around the world, Wizards stopped a substantial volume of counterfeit cards from entering the market by locating the manufacturing source in China. A Shenzhen-based printing company was determined to be the source of counterfeit cards that popped up in sample quantities in some markets. That company and its key foreign sales representatives ultimately complied with Wizards of the Coast's demands, cooperated with the investigation, and ceased all infringing activity.

Wizards also conducted an effective sweep of notorious counterfeit-seller websites, and several smaller, low-quality printers and sellers each ultimately agreed to cease all infringing activity.

Additionally, Wizards of the Coast's collaboration with federal and local law enforcement agencies facilitated the successful interception of an individual based in North Carolina who acted as a primary distributor of counterfeits in the United States. The joint effort led to the suspect's full cooperation in the investigation as well as the recovery of his inventory of counterfeit Magic cards.

Recognizing the possibility that unscrupulous individuals may try to take unfair advantage of Magic's growing popularity, Wizards remains committed to vigorously protecting the Magic community from counterfeiters. We will remain vigilant for illegal activity, and we will continue to work quickly and decisively with law enforcement agencies around the globe to protect against the creation or distribution of counterfeit Magic cards. Additionally, we reiterate in the strongest terms possible that any individual or retailer who deals in counterfeits works against the best interests of the community. Wizards has eliminated and will continue to eliminate from the DCI or WPN anyone who knowingly distributes counterfeit cards. In addition to our enforcement efforts, Wizards regularly explores innovative features to incorporate into Magic cards to facilitate the verification of authenticity and curb future counterfeiting.

We want to remind players to be diligent in protecting themselves and their collections. Trade with people you trust, closely examine highly sought-after cards, and remember the time-tested rule that if a deal is too good to be true, it probably isn't legitimate.

Finally, our sincere thanks to all of the players and retailers who assisted with the investigations noted above. We encourage anyone with information about counterfeit Magic cards to alert local law enforcement officials or contact us at any time at investigations@wizards.com.

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