Fake Shirt Police.
Hey, I’m James, I work on the FakeShirtPolice account, I’ve been running it since March 2022. We recently hit 1000 followers and we are on the way to 1500 after a really successful exposé on a couple of popular sellers that sells fake shirts to unsuspecting customers.
I guess it started on my personal account just winding up fake sellers on depop, wasting their time and sharing the reactions with others in the football shirt community. It was all really a bit of fun to pass time but it took off from there, People enjoyed seeing me annoying scammers. I remember a crypto scammer fully believing that I would be using the returns he gave me to by the haunted house from the film Monster House, I convinced him my future would be based entirley on the returns from my life savings
After a few successful wind ups and outing a vintage whole saler in Hull a friend, Simon suggested making the fake shirt police and my kit/personal twitter two different things, so we did. I made this account and another mate sorted the graphics and we went for it.
I’ve been pretty inconsistent with the account, not done as much as I should but I have to say I understand why. I think the people that follow me and contact me are the most passionate kit collectors going, every day I get 3 or more people to investigate, a few questions abiut kits. Yeah it’s great but it’s a big distraction when I’m working from home, I have to be honest.
So far we’ve exposed two of the bigger sellers on Twitter one was Retro_NUFC who we caught selling fakes, trying to bully customers out of returns and also bully and intimidate those he wanted to buy from. Really, overall the guy sucked. That got 140k views, it blew up, I think I gained like 500 followers off that maybe more. Now I half my followers might actually be Newcastle fans. The second was SuZe_Sport. Similar thing except worse, these were signed fake shirts but they were charging in some cases £300 up to £1000, which is insane considering it’s a fake shirt with a questionable signature and they were fully aware of what they were doing.
That one was really recent and I loved every second of it, I have a load more to do and I’m still working on other bits. Other sellers and revisting old ones that were exposed.
The most rewarding part is when someone contacts you and says “I nearly bought off them, I’m glad I saw your thread” actually one of my favourite messages was a guy who managed to contact Newcastle United; I think, over a fake seller and got their pages taken down, I love seeing stuff like that. Like I say my followers are wild and really passionate. It sounds corny but why wouldn’t you be passionate about stopping fans getting scammed?
I initially made the account for fun, but for it to be putting good back into the community and keeping people safe is amazing. I’m really excited to see what the future holds for us.
It has also given me the opportunity to help sellers check stock and helped moderate this very platform, which is awesome. It’s more than I could have imagined to be honest, I thought we’d all just find depop sellers to wind up.
I have some really excting investigations coming up, one with a Scottish ex pro player who’s selling fakes, well raffling them. The others will depend on how quickly I can get information on them, I think the most important thing is getting it right. If I lie or report information incorrectly it ruins my credibilty. So sometimes investigations take a long time because of this.
I’m looking to expand the FakeShirtPolice into accounts in other languages targetting other fake kit sellers, I’d like to start with French or Spanish first, maybe both, I’m then looking at Polish, Italian, Portugese, there’s plenty of dodgy seller, out in the world for us to expose.
The one thing I have learned is that i’s a lot deeper than some kid trying to make a quick buck on some fakes, it’s actually a huge and organised operation, so it was really daft of me to use personal infomation of the account. However I have now scrubbed all this and am taking much more care with future investigations. So hopefully no one else posts pictures of me and my family on twitter any time soo but who knows. It’s something I’ve kind of accepted, I will probably get threatened, I will probably get doxxed, I will probably have information posted onlne, I didn’t expect to have fake stories created about me but it happened.
It’s crazy the lengths people will go to to keep selling dodgy shirts for massive margains. I would say if you want to get into stuff like this and to be honest the more the merrier, there are too many rats around football shirt market. I would say learn from my mistakes, use a paid vpn, use a virtual machine or a burner device, don’t add any personal details or socials, keep your sources close and do your own research as well as what’s presented to you. I might make a discord or chat for all this soon because I think we’ll be better in numbers, so organisation to stamp out fakes is key.
I’ve rally enjoyed making this and it’s possibly a little cringe but anyway, I hope yopu’ve had fun reading much love.
(By FakeShirtPolice on Twitter)