Avoiding NCAA Ticket Scams

March 17, 2016

BBB Serving Western Michigan warns Michigan State and Michigan basketball fans to be careful when buying tickets for the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  Make sure you don’t fall victim to a scam. 

The BBB is offering helpful tips when buying tickets to big events:

  • Do your research. You can look up sellers on BBB.org for details about companies, including history of complaints and customer reviews.
  • If the seller is mailing you the tickets, make sure you get a written receipt or contract via email stating when and how the tickets will be delivered or sent. Pay 1/2 now and the other 1/2 when the tickets are received. Make sure the person lets you know they got your money and they are sending the tickets, and track your communication via email.
  • If you are buying from a seller on Craig’s List or other unregulated environment, and you pay without meeting, pay with PayPal.  It protects you (especially if tickets are never sent or are fake). 
  • If you meet someone to buy tickets, ask them if you can look at their ID to see their first and last name. If they won’t do that, they are hiding something. Pay with a cashier’s check versus a personal check, to protect your account information.
  • People selling tickets at face value may be selling fake or scalped tickets.
  • Check ticket agencies for views of seating charts, the cost of tickets, the dates of games, concerts, shows, etc. Research the tickets you are buying and know what you are getting! Tickets are easily reproduced so be aware of what you are buying. 
  • Check the broker’s refund policy. Only buy from ones that provide clear details about the terms of the transaction.
  • Don’t give out too much personal information.
  • When buying for a business, pay with a credit card.
  • Verify the seats are real, always ask for a section, row and seat number.

You can report any suspected ticket scams to local law enforcement and to the BBB’s Scam Tracker.