BBB Warns of Ticket Scams During March Madness

March 20, 2014

For college sports fans, the next few weeks are some of the most highly anticipated of the year. With sixteen March Madness games today alone, there’s no doubt that if fans across the nation aren’t glued to their televisions, they’ll be browsing the web for tickets to the next game. Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties is urging all basketball fans to be smart when buying tickets and travel deals when following their favorite teams on the road to the 2014 NCAA Championship.

Whether you are hoping to score tickets to see San Diego State (lets go Aztecs!) or your favorite team play in the tournament, beware of too-good-to-be-true sounding ticket and/or travel package offers.

Remember, using a credit card is always a good idea. If the tickets don't come through, at least fans have the possibility of recovering money by disputing the charge with their credit card providers. BBB also warns fans to use extreme caution with general buy-and-sell websites such as Craigslist. Con artists posting non-existent tickets on websites may ask for money to be wired to them via Money Gram, and when no tickets come, the customer is out of luck.

If buying travel packages, check out the company with BBB first. Verify your reservations ahead of time so there are no surprises and always check cancellation or refund policies in case something comes up and you can’t go in the end.

Your BBB suggests these tips for fans hoping to score tickets to see their team in this year’s tournament:

Check BBB: Check out ticket brokerage companies with BBB before you buy. Contact BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties at (858)-496-2131 or log on to to browse companies nationwide.

Stay secure: Use secure websites for online transactions. When buying tickets or making online reservations, look for a padlock in the search box, and the letter “s” in the URL box after the “http.” (Ex: If neither is present, the site is unsecure and your payment information may not be safe.

Stick with plastic: If buying online, be cautious when dealing with sellers who direct you AWAY from secure, reliable transaction methods such as PayPal, and avoid those who discourage using credit cards. Using a credit card may allow you to dispute the charge with the credit card provider if something goes wrong. Beware of sellers that want money wire transferred; there is no way to trace the cash or refund your money after the fact if it is a scam.

If it sounds too good to be true: Buy at your own risk. If you buy tickets from unfamiliar sources, there is no guarantee that they will be genuine. (Scalping laws in various cities and states may differ.) If a deal sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

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Contact Better Business Bureau serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties to check out companies, report scams or file a complaint by calling (858)-496-2131. Services are also available by logging on to