SPOKANE, Wash - With the kickoff of college and professional football season nearing, the Better Business Bureau northwest and pacific is warning fans to watch out for fake ticket scams.
According to the BBB scam tracker, football fans lost nearly $4,000 to football related scams last year which include: The re-selling of fake or non-existent tickets on online classifieds, counterfeit merchandise, price gouging, ticket scalping and bots who buy thousands of tickets and re-sell them at inflated prices.
Whatever team you root for, BBB wants you to follow these guidelines when buying tickets or merchandise:
- Pay with protection. Paying with a credit card offers consumers protection if scammed. The credit card company may be able to help obtain a refund if the tickets are fake. Be wary of online sellers that ask to wire money and don’t accept credit cards.
- Verify the tickets. To check the authenticity of tickets, ask for a copy of the seller's invoice or purchasing receipt to check where the seller bought the tickets. It's also recommended to contact the original promoter directly.
- Check out the seller/broker. Before you decide to purchase tickets on other sites, be sure to look the seller up on bbb.org. Secure, legal sites for second-hand purchases include BBB Accredited businesses SeatGeek and Vivid Seats. These sites guarantee their consumers and sellers a secure transaction. It's also wise to check if the seller is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200 percent purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.
- Look for secure sites. The website should begin with https (the "s" is for secure) and include a lock symbol on the address bar. Also check the official website for a phone number, physical address and email address. Be wary of sites that rely on a contact form instead of offering a customer service phone number. Contact forms make it hard to reach someone from the company.
- Shop local. If you’re searching for ticket bargains on classified sites and apps such as Craigslist, eBay Classifieds, OfferUp and Letgo, it’s wise to meet sellers in person in a safe, public place.
If you believe you have been a victim of a scam, BBB encourages you to report it on their website which can be found here www.BBB.org/scamtracker
Additional information can be found here www.bbb.org/tickets
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