Avoid Getting Ripped Off Buying Sports and Concert Tickets

February 03, 2011

Whether you’re trying to snag tickets to the big game or the hottest concert, the Better Business Bureau warns that you run the risk of getting ripped off if you decide to gamble on a less than reputable source.

Fake tickets aren’t just a concern for people who want to go to the Super Bowl or large concerts; even smaller events can become a target. Not only were counterfeit tickets to major sporting events like the BCS Championship game or the NFL playoffs a problem this winter, consumers have also recently wasted money on fake tickets for UFC fights, and local concerts.

“It can be very tempting to take advantage of what seems like a good deal, especially when it means you’ll get to see your favorite team play or favorite band in concert,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan New York. “Unfortunately, deals that seem too good to be true can leave you disappointed or worse.”

BBB recommends the following tips:

  • Too good to be true? It probably is – If someone is selling tickets far below the market price, this is a red flag.

  • Never wire money to someone you don’t know – Even if you find someone online who you believe actually has tickets, try to avoid wiring money to them, because this provides absolutely no recourse if they prove to be fraudulent. When buying tickets online, ideally pay with a credit card or through a trusted and secure payment service because of the consumer protections provided.

  • Do your research – If buying online, ask to see a picture of the tickets so you can confirm the seats match up with the venue. If your friends already have tickets, you can also make sure they look the same as the ones you want to buy. Search for guidance online about how the tickets should look. For example, the NFL has offered advice on how to tell if Super Bowl tickets are legit.

  • Be wary of scalpers - Buying tickets outside the venue is riskymight get taken to the cleaners or the seats may be just as advertised. Keep in mind that, in some states, it’s illegal to charge more than the face value for tickets.

  • Always choose a reputable online ticket broker – When purchasing tickets through an online broker, look for the BBB seal on their website and check them out online at www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews. Review the company’s terms and conditions including the policy for customer satisfaction and what happens if tickets purchased through their site are fake or not as advertised.

For more advice on spending your money wisely and not getting ripped off, visit www.bbb.org/us/Consumer-Tips/