Don’t Fall for Fake March Madness Tickets or Merchandise

March 21, 2013

DENVER – With University of Colorado and Colorado State University both making it to the NCAA, the Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder wants to warn the public about scams related to March Madness. Major sporting events like the NCAA tournament always inspire scammers to capitalize on the scarcity of tickets and fans’ desire to buy souvenirs or team jerseys. BBB advises fans to check out offers before spending their hard-earned cash.

Craigslist has thousands of sports tickets listed, but sellers aren’t required to provide identification to list tickets and the site offers no guarantees. Remember that tickets sold outside the event offer no refunds or guarantees there either. Official NCAA ticket information is available at Fans can find reputable, secondary market ticket firms that provide buyer protections, including money-back guarantees if tickets turn out to be fake at

Counterfeit apparel and memorabilia are low-priced but are actually stolen goods. Such merchandise is usually low quality and some sites that seem to offer memorabilia take credit card information and send nothing at all. Only buy official sports gear from official team or league websites, official stadium vendors or from other verified, trusted stores.

The BBB advises fans to ask lots of questions and be wary of any offer that requires wiring money or using Green Dot cards. Wire payments are impossible to get it back or to trace the recipient, who may be overseas.

The BBB offers the following tips to avoid scams during March Madness:

  • Read ads carefully to understand what is being offered and what the price will be.
  • Be wary of ticket offers at extreme discount prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
  • Ask the seller where he or she is located and how he or she may be contacted after the sale. If the seller is evasive, don’t pursue the offer.
  • Be wary of ads that pile on incentives to make the package look better. Often the items – such as lanyards, T-shirts or other trinkets – have limited value.
  • Use a credit card. A credit card company can assist you with obtaining a refund if the offer turns out to be fraudulent.
  • If you are obsessed with checking the progress of your bracket selections, beware of cyber scams. Cyber scammers take advantage of the large interest in March Madness by poisoning search results related to the tournament with malware that can infect computers and put consumers’ personal information at risk.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 114 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit for more information.