Anchorage, Alaska — Aug. 16, 2017 A Seahawks fan lost more than a thousand dollars after paying someone online for season tickets he never received. Better Business Bureau Serving the Northwest wants to alert other NFL or college football fans to watch out for phony tickets sold online.
The Oregon victim, reported to BBB Scam Tracker that she came across a Craigslist ad that claimed to be selling two season tickets. She sent a cashier’s check for $1,300 to pay for the tickets per the seller’s request and received an email with a contract that was signed by the original ticket owner. After the seller received the money they ceased communication with the victim, leaving her ticketless and scammed out of more than a thousand dollars.
Other common football ticket scams include price gouging, ticket scalping and scammers who use bots to buy thousands of tickets and resell them at inflated prices.
Whether consumers are fans of the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers or any other NFL or college football team, fans are advised to follow this advice when searching for football tickets online:
- Pay with protection. Paying with a credit card offers consumers protection if scammed. The credit card company can help obtain a refund if the tickets are fake. Be wary of online sellers that ask to wire money and don’t accept credit cards.
- Verify the tickets. To check the authenticity of tickets, consumers should ask for a copy of the seller’s invoice or purchasing receipt to check where the seller bought the tickets. It’s also recommended to contact the original promoter directly.
- Research the seller. Before deciding to purchase tickets on other sites be sure to look the seller up on bbb.org. Secure, legal sites for second-hand purchases include BBB Accredited businesses SeatGeek and Vivid Seats. These sites guarantee their consumers and sellers a secure transaction. It’s also wise to check if the seller is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200 percent purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from an NATB-member resale company.
- Look for secure sites. The website should begin with https (the “s” is for secure) and include a lock symbol on the address bar. Also check the official website for a phone number, physical address and email address. Be wary of sites that rely on a contact form instead of offering a customer service phone number. Contact forms make it hard to reach someone from the company.
- Shop local. If consumers search for ticket bargains on classified sites and apps such as Craigslist, eBay Classifieds, OfferUp and Letgo, they should meet sellers in person in a safe, public place.