With the Red Sox heading to the World Series, Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns fans to beware of potential scams by fake ticket sellers seeking to cash in on the team’s success. The opportunity for sports fans to be scammed by fake ticket sellers occurs most often when people buy tickets from individuals outside the stadium, on the street or through online auctions, classified ads and bulletin boards.
After the 2011 World Series, a New York man was indicted on federal charges and accused of selling counterfeit World Series tickets. In 2004, authorities in Boston made several arrests of members of a New York gang that sold as much as $50,000 worth of fake tickets.
BBB of Central New England warns consumers to watch out for fake ticket scams that always surround these big games. The opportunity for sports fans to be scammed by fake ticket sellers occurs most often when people buy tickets from individuals outside the stadium, on the street or through online auctions, classified ads and bulletin boards. Many consumers will head to the internet in search of tickets, not realizing that this is where many scammers wait to take advantage of sports fans.
BBB is advising consumers to not get caught up in the excitement of the game and finding a ticket. Be cautious when communicating with potential sellers; make sure the seller and tickets are legitimate before finalizing a purchase.
If you can’t buy tickets from the stadium or authorized agent BBB recommends the following tips:
· Be careful buying tickets from someone on the street. When you get to the gate and find out your tickets aren’t real, the seller will be long gone.
· Make sure the website has a secure payment processing system, usually denoted by “https://” at the start of its website address or URL or a small closed lock icon at the bottom of the screen.
· If you buy tickets through an online auction site, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets.
· Ticket buyers also should be wary of sellers who try to lure buyers from a legitimate site to another site for a “private” transaction. Scammers often want to conduct their business on sites with names that mimic well-known companies but actually are fakes.
· If you are buying tickets through an online classified ad site, never pay the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit.
· Check the ticket broker’s refund policy. Only buy from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
· Always use a credit card so you have some recourse; do not use cash.
Research a company before doing business with them. Check out their BBB Business Review for an overview on the business.