NHL playoff tickets are a hot commodity and your Better Business Bureau is urging fans who wish to see the big games in person to be aware of potential ticket scams and protect themselves from unscrupulous sellers.
It’s an exciting time for Pittsburgh Penguins fans, as their favorite team prepares to take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. NHL playoff tickets are a hot commodity and your Better Business Bureau is urging fans who wish to see the big games in person to be aware of potential ticket scams and protect themselves from unscrupulous sellers.
“Scammers see large sporting events as an opportunity to capitalize on unsuspecting fans, especially those who are scouring the internet for last minute deals,” says Warren King, president of the Better Business Bureau of Western PA. “Before choosing an online ticket broker or reseller, make sure your purchase is 100% guaranteed.”
BBB offers the following advice to fans who are searching online for sporting event tickets:
- When buying from an online ticket broker, look for the BBB seal so you know that you are dealing with a company that has a good reputation and a secure website for processing your payment.
- If you buy tickets through an online vendor, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets. You should also click on the item number to view what was sold. It should send up a red flag if the seller has sold 500 items and has never sold tickets before.
- Read all fine print and be sure to verify the ticket delivery dates.
- Beware of emails that seem to be from eBay or Craigslist guaranteeing the honesty of a seller. Many online classifieds operate under the “buyer beware” premise and offer no such guarantees.
- Ticket buyers should also conduct ticket sale transactions through the online site and not be lured away by a seller who would prefer to conduct the transaction privately.
- Never pay a seller by cash, cashier’s check or wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit. Pay with a credit card or through PayPal, both of which offer additional protection to the buyer.
- If buying from a ticket broker, examine their credibility and reputation, such as time in the business, office location (do they operate with a cell phone only), participation in organizations such as the National Association of Ticket Brokers or BBB, buyer feedback, and referrals. Find out what guarantees are offered with the purchase.
- Is the broker licensed by their state and do they abide by any applicable state laws? Buy from a broker licensed by a state regulating secondary market ticket sales, such as Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, where broker activities are monitored by the Secretary of State’s Office.
Game Day Sales – Consumers should be particularly wary of trying to buy tickets outside of the venue on game day:
- The seller may be violating state law and/or rules and regulations covering ticket reselling near the arena.
- If the transaction goes wrong, there is little the consumer can do since a cash transaction is usually done in a matter of minutes.
- Consider it a red flag if the tickets are going for $500 and you are offered tickets for $100.
To check out a company, visit www.bbb.org or contact 877.267.5222.