With college football’s bowl season kicking off this week and more than 1 million fans searching for tickets, con artists are banking on the frenzy. The Better Business Bureau warns consumers to watch out for frauds who sell counterfeit tickets or take your money and run.
“Even if the tickets do arrive, they are sometimes not for the seats the seller advertised – which can mean the fan is stuck with seats that aren’t next to each other, are in the opponent’s section, are up in the nosebleed area, or have an obstructed view," said BBB spokesman Steve Cox.
BBB offers the following advice when searching online for sporting events tickets:
- Buy direct from the venue, which can guarantee the ticket you purchase online will be valid to attend the event.
- If you buy tickets through an online auction, choose a seller with a long, continuous history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure they have recently bought or sold other items.
- Don’t be lured away from a ticket exchange Web site by the seller.
- Never pay with a cashier’s check or wire money to a seller. Instead, use a credit card or PayPal, which offer some protection and potential reimbursement.
- Scrutinize photos of the tickets closely for any inaccuracies or alterations, and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the venue’s Web site.