The red 2010 Olympic mittens are such a hot commodity in the Lower Mainland, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to take advantage of "mitten madness."

Authentic Olympic mittens are hard to come by. They're often snatched up the moment they hit store shelves at exclusive sellers The Bay and Zellers.

But fake mittens are beginning to fill the supply gap, and they're tough to spot.

A counterfeit pair found for sale in a Gastown tourist shop looks nearly identical to the real article. It features the same knit, and the same white maple leaf on the palm. There's just one visual difference.

Real 2010 mittens feature the Olympic rings, VANOC's Dennis Kim told CTV News. Fake ones do not.

"These ones use a generic inukshuk and the words 'Vancouver Canada,'" Kim said.

Another invisible difference is in the profits.

Forty per cent of profits from the sale Olympic mittens, which cost $10 per pair, goes to 2010 athletes.

The profits made selling fake mittens, which sell slightly cheaper at $8.99, do not.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Shannon Paterson