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When Sports gets exciting, ticket scams begin to surface

Posted by Admin On September - 22 - 2010
 (From the Better Business Bureau)
 Beware of buying event tickets from private sellers
Chicago, IL – With the excitement during football, hockey and basketball season, many fans take to the internet to find tickets and deals to cheer on their favorite teams. However, the Better Business Bureau warns sports fans to use caution to avoid scammers who are ready to make them a loser.
According to StubHub.com the secondary-ticket market is a $10 billion dollar a year industry which includes professional brokers, speculators and season ticket holders. Because many of these sellers are not licensed or bonded and are often found on unregulated online auctions, online classifieds, and bulletin boards using person to person sales sports fans need to be more skeptical and on the alert.
“The Internet has become the playing field of choice for sports fans looking to buy or sell tickets. Unfortunately, it is also a breeding ground for scammers looking to take advantage of game day fever,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Sports fans are often blinded by their devotion to their team and run the risk of putting their trust in a seller that doesn’t deserve it.” 
If you are considering buying tickets on the secondary market, the Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to ensure a successful transaction:
  • Check to make sure the broker is licensed as required in the state of Illinois.
  • Do not ever wire funds for payment.
  • Deal only with brokers that provide clear details concerning the terms of the transaction.  For instance, you should know up-front the amount of the surcharge for each purchase; whether the tickets are guaranteed; how they will be sent to you and the timeframe for delivery; and the broker’s refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies.
  • Check if the ticket broker is a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers (NATB) and the Better Business Bureau.
  • Visit several Web sites to compare prices and ticket availability for the event you’re interested in attending.
  • Do not buy tickets from Internet sites that are not secure or lack a privacy policy; fail to disclose their refund, rescheduling and cancellation policies; do not provide a telephone number and fixed place of business; or insist on cash payment.
  • Verify the location of the seats on a seating chart provided by the venue to avoid purchasing non-existent seats or seats with obstructed views.
  • Pay with a credit card or another secure form of payment so you can dispute the charge with your credit card issuer or bank.
For more information on consumer safe shopping, visit www.bbb.org
In the past twelve months alone, there have been 225 complaints filed and more than 20,000 inquiries to the BBB about companies in the “Ticket Sales – Events” category.
Joshua Meyer of Carpentersville, Ill. stated, “I bought tickets on 12/27/09 as a gift for my fiancée. They were supposed to e-mail me the tickets and on January 5th they called to let me know that they did not actually have the tickets so that I would not get them. He promised me a refund of the $178.54 that I paid. I called them over and over and never got the refund or even a returned call. My bank eventually refunded the money but I never heard from them.”
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