BBB Warns: Beware of Derby Ticket Scams

April 30, 2013

The race is on to get last-minute Kentucky Derby tickets! But, BBB warns, beware of scam artists who are on the prowl, trying to fool you into buying fake Derby tickets!

"A ticket to the Kentucky Derby is the hottest ticket in town and one of the hottest in sports," says Charlie Mattingly, President/CEO, of the Better Business Bureau. "If you're looking to buy a ticket to get into Churchill Downs on May 4th, make sure you don't get taken for a ride. Protect yourself against ticket fraud and ticket deceit."

Derby ticket scams pop up on Craigslist and online auction sites. Scam artists ask ticket seekers to send money through Western Union. But after you send off the cash, you never get the tickets…and your money is GONE.

Mattingly also suggests, be sure you know what you are buying, as some seats are better than others. "So you don't buy tickets thinking you're going to be on Millionaires Row and all of a sudden you find yourself in the infield."

The best way to avoid getting scammed is to deal in person. If possible, have the seller fax evidence of how much they paid for the seats and where they are in Churchill Downs. Another tip is to never wire money. It's just like sending cash and you're just setting yourself up to get scammed. If possible, try to use a credit card because if something goes wrong, you can always contest the charge.

Here are some red flags for Craigslist scams:

Buyer is not local

Misspellings and grammar errors in the response

Person offering that Craigslist guarantees a transaction 

Use of Western Union for the transaction

Seller offers use of an online escrow service

For more advice, contact the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-388-2222 or go to