Milwaukee Brewers fans beware! Scammers may be out selling fake playoff tickets.
That the word from the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin (BBB) President and CEO Randall Hoth, who warns that "sports fans can get burned by purchasing counterfeit tickets or paying in advance for tickets that never arrive."
Reselling tickets has become a $10 billion a year business, including tickets bought and sold by professional brokers as well as those purchased and resold by speculators and season ticket holders. With the internet, the likelihood of being scammed rises dramatically as well.
The BBB offers the following advice for Milwaukee Brewers' fans seeking tickets:
- Be careful buying tickets from someone on the street. When you get to the gate and find out your tickets aren’t real, the seller will be long gone.
- Before buying from an online ticket broker, look for the BBB logo on the website and click on it to make sure it is real. The BBB’s dynamic seal will take you directly to the BBB Business Review on the company, where you can read about the company’s record for responding to complaints. Make sure the website has a secure payment processing system, usually denoted by “https://” at the start of its website address or URL or a small closed lock icon at the bottom of the screen.
- If you buy tickets through an online auction site, choose a seller with a long history of satisfied customers. Scammers can hijack old accounts, so make sure the seller has recently sold other tickets.
- Ticket buyers also should be wary of sellers who try to lure buyers from a legitimate site to another site for a “private” transaction. Scammers often want to conduct their business on sites with names that mimic well-known companies but actually are fakes.
- If you are buying tickets through an online classified ad site, never pay the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit.
- Ask the seller to email you a picture of the tickets, including a receipt or other proof that the tickets are not counterfeit. Scrutinize the picture carefully, and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the venue’s Web site before you buy.
- Try to purchase from a local seller that you can meet in person. Meet in a public place and do not go alone. The “seller” could be a scammer who is looking for a victim to rob. He/she knows where you’ll be and that you’re carrying a lot of money, which makes you an easy target.
- When meeting the seller, ask for some identification, and write it down in case you need it later.