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BBB Warns Preakness Fans to Seek Reputable Ticket Sellers, Avoid Derby Disappointment
Presently, there are two pages of Craigslist posts on the Baltimore marketplace related to the May 17, Preakness Stakes. While some posts come from private sellers, others represent dealers. When considering an online ticket broker, private seller or dealer, BBB advises, the message is "buyer beware."
May 08, 2014

Baltimore, MD - May 8, 2014 - By the time California Chrome galloped across finish line in the Kentucky Derby, BBB serving Louisville KY, had received dozens of complaints from fans across the country who claimed they had lost anywhere from several hundred dollars to $10,000 for Derby tickets and race packages. As a result, BBB serving Greater Maryland is sharing tips with horse racing fans to help them avoid a similar fate when the second jewel in the Triple Crown comes to Baltimore next week.    

BBB officials in KY are working with the FBI on an investigation involving an online ticket seller after BBB began receiving complaints about derbydeals.com . So far, the investigation has uncovered losses in excess of $100,000. According to news reports, the website's owner, Scott Davis was charged with attempted theft in 2010 after failing to deliver on promises to derbydeals.com customers. Those charges were dropped after Davis made restitution to customers.

When considering a third-party ticket vendor, check their Business Review at bbb.orgfor general business background information, the resolution experience of past complainants and BBB Accreditation. In the last 12 months, the BBB system handled 2,137 complaints against ticket brokers and event ticket sellers. To protect yourself against ticket fraud, BBB suggests payment by credit card. If something goes wrong, you can contest the charge. Unfortunately, that might not get you into the Preakness, but it will help minimize your loss. 

Presently, there are two pages of Craigslist posts on the Baltimore marketplace related to the May 17Preakness Stakes. While some posts come from private sellers, others represent dealers. Either way, BBB advises, the message is "buyer beware."

BBB offers red flags for possible Craigslist scams: 

  • The seller is not local.
  • Misspellings and grammar errors in the seller's response.
  • The seller claims Craigslist will guarantee the transaction. 
  • Payment is to be made by Western Union or a reloadable money card such as Green Dot.
  • Use of an online escrow service is offered.

Craigslist offers additional tips avoid scams and be sure to check BBB's online guide to outsmarting scams for additional information.