It’s time for football playoffs, and the Super Bowl is on the horizon. Many fans are looking for tickets to the big games!
Thanks to the internet, there are countless ways for consumers to find tickets and connect with online marketplaces, ticket sellers and resellers. Unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs. Last year, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) received over 300 reports on BBB Scam Tracker (bbb.org/scamtracker) about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre and more.
BBB is warning consumers to be smart when searching for and purchasing tickets to ensure they are purchasing from a trustworthy source. BBB and the National Association of Ticket Brokers, a BBB National Partner, are working to raise awareness and to educate fans about the smartest ways to buy tickets on the secondary resale market.
Here are some tips, whether you are looking for tickets for a football game or other events:
- Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue. Many now offer secondary sales options as well.
- Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper (an unregulated and unlicensed ticket seller) and a scammer selling fraudulent tickets.
- Check out the seller/broker. Look for the company on bbb.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if the company is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200% purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketsource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.
- Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through from emails or online ads. A common scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
- Know the refund policy. You should purchase tickets only from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart. If the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, sellers should disclose when the tickets will ship or be available to pick up.
- Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfer or cash transactions are risky. If the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
- Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgement because some of these ads are going to be scams, especially if the prices are low.
- If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket to “Will Call” (customer service) and someone can verify if your ticket is legitimate.
For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2017, people turned to BBB more than 172 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. The Council of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico, as well as home to its national programs on dispute resolution, advertising review, and industry self-regulation. BBB of South Central Louisiana, Inc. has been serving the local community since 1950 and services the parishes of Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge & West Feliciana.