March Madness is right around the corner, and if you're looking for a ticket to all the college basketball action, you need to watch out for ticket scammers.
Thanks to the internet, there are countless ways for consumers to find tickets to basketball games, along with other sporting events and concerts. Unfortunately, some of those tickets for sale are rip-offs.
In 2019, the Better Business Bureau received nearly 400 reports on BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre, and more.
Most scams happen when you're buying from an individual, so you should consider meeting them at the venue to buy the tickets.
Mallory Wojciechowski, CEO of the BBB Eastern NC says, "You can also go to the will call as and ask them if this is a legitimate ticket. Also, be aware if you're purchasing from someone on the street or online that it could be an actual real ticket but they've sold this ticket to many people. So the first person to scan it at the door will get in, but others may not."
The BBB has these tips for buying tickets, whether you are looking for tickets for a game or any other event:
Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents 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 scam tickets.
Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on bbb.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are 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 ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets 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; 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 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 judgment; some of these ads are going to be ticket 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 they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if a ticket is fake.
Don't get scammed by fake tickets for the NCAA Tournament during March Madness