With the MLB All-Star weekend just around the corner, fans are getting excited to attend any number of events taking place during the five-day experience leading up to the All-Star game on Tuesday, July 12. BBB serving San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties is reminding consumers to be on the lookout for scammers looking to make a quick buck.
One issue common with big sporting events, like the MLB All-Star game, is fans unknowingly purchasing counterfeit tickets. Most ticket scams occur as a result of buying tickets from unofficial retailers. BBB offers this advice for fans still looking for tickets.
- Be careful buying tickets from someone on the street. This is a common practice but very risky.
- Ticket broker or scalper? A ticket broker is a legitimate and accredited reseller, while a ticket scalper is an unregulated and unlicensed seller.
- Check the website. Make sure the URL begins with “https://” and has a little lock icon, which signifies that the website is secured.
- Look up the seats. Ask for the section, row, and seat number of the tickets you’d like and compare them with the venue map so you don’t end up with an obstructed view or other surprises.
- Refund policy. Make sure you only buy tickets from a seller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction, including the refund policy.
- If you buy tickets through an online auction site, 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.
- Buyers should be wary of sellers who try to lure you from a legitimate site to another site for a “private” transaction. Scammers often want to conduct business on sites with names that mimic well-known companies, but are actually fakes.
- Stick to credit cards when buying tickets. A purchase made with a credit card is protected under the Fair Credit Billing Act that allows you to briefly hold payments if an issue arises. Never wire money to someone you don’t know.
- If you buy from an individual seller, be sure to meet at a public location. Before handing over money, ask to see the seller’s ID to confirm the name they told you matches.
- Check bbb.org where you can find more information about online ticket sellers. Read customer reviews and complaints to help you make the best decision before buying.
How to spot a fake ticket:
- Check the date on the ticket and make sure it matched the date of the event.
- Look for spelling and grammatical errors; these are clear signs of a fake.
- Look for authentication of pictures and logos printed on the ticket by checking the alignment and even the color. Make sure the ticket has a barcode.
- If possible, compare your ticket with one bought from an official retailer.
Although resellers might offer tickets at a lower cost, you run the risk of being scammed. The safest option is to purchase tickets from official and well-know retailers such as MLB.com, Ticketmaster, and StubHub. Currently, tickets for the Tuesday, July 12 MLB All-Star game are no longer available on MLB.com, so BBB advises consumers to be vigilant if purchasing tickets on other sites.
MLB All-star weekend is poised to attract thousands of fans, many of who will need a place to stay. Making a little extra cash by renting your home may seem like a great idea, but BBB wants you to be sure to use a legitimate rental agency. Renters should be cautious of companies that promise to rent your home for a large rental fee or ask for you to pay them a high listing price. Some companies may collect up-front fees from out-of-towners, then cancel their reservation and deny refund requests. If you choose to rent your home during MLB weekend, it’s best to only do so with reputable companies who have appropriate licenses. And beware of promises that sound too good to be true.
Visit bbb.org to find information about real estate and reantal companies including customer reviews, complaints, and more.