Sports fans are advised to beware of ticket scammers

With football season right around the corner, the Better Business Bureau warns fans to be aware of ticket scams.

The most common scams around football are the reselling of fake or nonexistent tickets through online classifieds, counterfeit merchandise, price gouging, ticket scalping and scammers who use bots to buy thousands of tickets and resell them at inflated prices.

Whether cheering for the University of Hawaii or any other collegiate or NFL team, BBB recommends fans follow the following advice when purchasing tickets and merchandise:

• Paying with a credit card. It 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 who 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 deciding to purchase tickets on other sites, be sure to look the seller up on bbb.org. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm the seller is a member of the National Association of Ticket Buyers. 

• Look for secure sites. The website should begin with “https” 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 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.

Fans who believe they are the victim of a scam are encouraged to report it to BBB Scam Tracker. For more information, consumers can visit www.bbb.org/tickets.

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