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Action Line: How to avoid getting scammed on Super Bowl tickets

Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 7.
Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos will be played at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Feb. 7. Associated Press

A reader: I am looking for tickets to the Super Bowl. I hear lots of things about ads on the Internet and how unsafe they are. I have always wanted to go to the Super Bowl and am willing to pay the price, but how can I be sure I am getting a real ticket?

Action Line: There is always risk associated with purchasing Super Bowl or any event tickets online, including tickets never being sent or if you do get the tickets, they may not be for the premium seats you thought you were buying. If you are not afraid of risking it, the following steps should be taken to reduce the chances of being ripped off:

▪ Always buy from an established ticket reselling company.

▪ Before you purchase, check the seller out with BBB at bbb.org

▪ Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (natb.org). NATB members offer a 200% guarantee on tickets that do not arrive in time for a game, concert or show.

▪ Read their refund policy. You should only purchase from a reseller that provides clear details about their refund policy.

▪ When buying from a ticket reselling company online, buyers should always look for the BBBOnLine dynamic seal. The BBBOnLine dynamic logo is a sign that the company has a good reputation for satisfying customers and a secure website for processing payments. If you are looking for a ticket seller, always call your BBB first.

▪ Know the difference between a ticket broker and a ticket scalper. A scalper is unregulated and unlicensed to sell tickets. A ticket broker is a legitimate and accredited ticket seller.

▪ Paying with a credit card or through PayPal will provide protection and the opportunity for potential reimbursement if the company is fraudulent.

▪ If you find ticket prices that sound too good to be true, they probably are.

▪ Consumers should never pay with a cashier’s check or wire money to a seller, as they will have no way to get their money back if the tickets do not arrive.

▪ Consumers who have been scammed buying tickets online can file a complaint with Better Business Bureau online at www.bbb.org. They can also file complaints with the California Attorney General’s Office at 800-952-5225. You can also file a complaint at natb.org.

Hope you get to enjoy the game and may the best team win!

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, 4201 W. Shaw Ave., Suite 107, Fresno, CA 93722 or info@cencal.bbb.org.

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