Q: I saw an ad on an internet site offering to sell tickets for Super Bowl LII. I have always wanted to go to the Super Bowl and am willing to pay the scalper’s prices they want, but what guarantee do I have that they will send me my tickets? I’ve heard stories where people pay but don’t get the seats they paid for or don’t get the tickets at all.
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A: I wouldn’t be willing to bet that the scalped tickets will be all you hoped for when you paid through the nose to buy them. Unfortunately, the number of counterfeit or fake tickets rises each year. The Super Bowl is is not the only event that has been affected over time. Some victims have paid thousands of dollars only to be turned away at the entrance of the big event. But if risk-taking is in your blood, here are steps you should take to reduce the chances of being ripped off:
▪ Always buy from an established ticket reselling company.
▪ If you can, go to the venue’s box office.
▪ If you are looking for a ticket seller, always call your BBB first.
▪ When buying from a ticket reselling company online, buyers should always look for the Better Business Bureau seal. The BBB seal is a sign that the company has a good reputation for satisfying customers and a secure website for processing payments.
▪ If you’re looking at an online purchase, make sure contact information for the company is there, look for an address or phone number and actually call them.
▪ Paying with a credit card or through PayPal will provide protection and the opportunity for potential reimbursement if the company is fraudulent.
▪ Never pay with a cashier’s check or wire money to a seller, as you will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive.
▪ Never send cash or transfer money directly to a seller’s account.
Consumers who have been scammed buying tickets online can file a complaint with BBB at www.bbb.org. They can also file complaints with the California Attorney General’s office at 800-952-5225 or the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov.
For the price of the tickets, you could purchase your own home theater system with a huge screen that you and your friends can watch the game on while you cheer on your team!
Action Line is written by Blair Looney, president and CEO for the Better Business Bureau serving Central California. Send your consumer concerns, questions and problems to Action Line at the Better Business Bureau, 2600 W. Shaw Lane, Fresno, CA 93711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.