BBB Urges Fans - Don't Get "Fouled" by NCAA Ticket Scams

March 19, 2014

The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan is urging basketball fans to be smart when buying tickets and travel deals when following their favorite teams on the road to the NCAA Championship.

Whether you are hoping to score tickets to see the University of Michigan Wolverines, the Michigan State University Spartans, or the Western Michigan University Broncos play in the tournament, beware of too-good-to-be-true sounding ticket and/or travel package offers.

Using a credit card is 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.  The BBB also warns fans to use extreme caution with general buy-and-sell websites such as Craig's List.  Con artists posting non-existent tickets on websites may ask for money to be wired to them via Money Gram, Western Union, or Green Dot Money Card, and when no tickets come, the customer is out of luck.

If buying travel packages, check out those companies with the BBB.  Verify reservations so there are no surprises, and check cancellation or refund policies, in case you cannot go.

The BBB suggests these tips for fans following the teams:

  • Check out ticket brokerage companies/websites with the BBB.  Contact the BBB serving Western Michigan at (616)774-8236 or log on to
  • Use secure websites for online transactions. When buying tickets or making online reservations, look for a padlock on the page, 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.
  • If buying online, beware sellers leading you AWAY from secure, reliable transaction methods, 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 sellers that want money wire transferred ...there is no way to trace that cash if there is a problem.
  • Buy at your own risk.  It is safer to buy from reliable sources. 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.