BBB Tip: Buying tickets to the big game? Don’t get scammed

Football fans are looking forward to the upcoming playoff games. This year, people holding tickets for admission to the venues must comply with COVID-19 protocols, but ticket sales are still brisk, and competition to secure a seat to the games can be tough.

Many stadiums and venues have gone to accepting only digital tickets, making the possibilities for scams all the more likely.

Here is what you need to know about online ticket purchases
Thanks to the internet, there are countless ways for consumers to find tickets and connect with online marketplaces, ticket sellers and resellers. Unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs, and it’s not always clear how to tell if a ticket is fake. Last year, the Better Business Bureau received more than 140 reports on BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre, and more.

BBB is warning consumers to be smart when searching for and purchasing tickets, to ensure they are purchasing from a trustworthy source. BBB and the National Association of Ticket Brokers are working to raise awareness and educate fans about the smartest ways to buy tickets on the secondary resale market.

Here are some tips for buying tickets, whether you are looking for tickets for a game, concert tickets, 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.
• 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.
• Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction.
• 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.

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.

If you’ve been the victim of a scam, report it on the BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help others to stay alert and avoid similar scams.

About the Better Business Bureau
For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.