It's March Madness! BBB Offers Tips to Avoid NCCA Ticket Scams

March 16, 2017

With “March Madness” upon us, college basketball fans across the country are looking for tickets to see their team in the “Big Dance.” However, consumers should to be smart when searching for and purchasing tickets to ensure they are buying from a trustworthy source. Various websites already show a lot of tickets on the secondary market for sale to the games, so BBB reminds fans to use good judgement to avoid fraud. 

Better Business Bureau (BBB) has teamed up with the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) to raise awareness and educate consumers about the smartest ways to buy tickets on the secondary resale market. The NATB, a BBB National Partner, is an association of more than 200 professional ticket resale companies who abide by a strict Code of Ethics with numerous consumer protection measures such as a 200% money-back guarantee.

“The most important thing fans need to remember is to do some research upfront,” said BBB President Jim Hegarty. “Check to read about past customers’ experiences, and to make sure the seller is an NATB member. Don’t pay cash, don’t buy from a stranger, don’t use an unsecured website and don’t believe the too-good-to-be-true deals.”

BBB and the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) have a few tips for fans to remember when buying tickets:

  • The NCAA advises fans to buy from their website, or host schools ticket offices. The NCAA Ticket Exchange is the only 100% guaranteed, NCAA-approved secondary ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell NCAA Men's Basketball Championship tickets with other fans. Ticket holders who are unable to attend a game or find their team eliminated have a place to safely sell their tickets, and buyers can be assured that the tickets are authentic and guaranteed. Log on to
  • Check out third-party sellers/brokers. Look them up on or call BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa at 800-649-6814.
  • Buy only from trusted vendors. Look for the padlock 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. Only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose, prior to purchase, the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart; and, if the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick up. 
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card so you have some possible 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 recover your money. 
  • Be wary of ticket offers at extreme discount prices - these are usually too good to be true.  Buy at your own risk if you choose to use sites like Craig’s List that offer no guarantees or seller identification. NEVER wire funds to strangers. Try to meet in person if possible.

If you run into a dishonest ticket broker, file a complaint at If you hear about a ticket scam or are the victim of one, report it to

ABOUT BBB: Better Business Bureau has been assisting U.S consumers and businesses since 1912. It is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing trust in the marketplace. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at Today, BBB serving Nebraska, South Dakota, The Kansas Plains and Southwest Iowa is supported by approximately 10,000 Accredited Businesses that have voluntarily committed to adhere to BBB’s Standards of Trust.

ABOUT NATB: The National Association of Ticket Brokers was formed in 1994 to establish an industry-wide standard of conduct and to create ethical rules and procedures to protect the public. Today NATB is comprised of more than 200 professional ticket resale companies. While the goals of the NATB are many, its primary goal is to represent the interests of legitimate ticket brokers by promoting consumer protection and educating the public about the industry. This is done by assuring the public that when dealing with an NATB member, they are working with an honest, reliable broker that will deliver what is promised. In addition, the NATB provides a platform that allows the public to report unethical conduct by ticket brokers.