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BBB: Rose Bowl Ticket Scams a Thorn in Fans' Sides

As fans look for ticket packages, scammers look to take advantage.

Even though the University of Wisconsin Badgers football team just clinched its berth to the Rose Bowl on Saturday, fans are already scrambling to find ticket packages for the big game. The Better Business Bureau warns fans to be careful of ticket scams.

Craigslist, the online classified ad site, and eBay, the online auction site, already have hundreds of listings for Rose Bowl tickets. The Wisconsin BBB wants to remind Badger fans that scams and counterfeit tickets are common, and they should use caution when buying tickets and packages – especially online.

The BBB offers these tips to make sure you do not get scammed:

  • 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 purchasing from an online auction site, like eBay, never leave the website to finish a transaction; you will lose protection a website like eBay provides.
  • Try to buy from someone who is local and has a good history of satisfying customers. Check other consumers’ feedback before purchasing tickets from the seller.
  • 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. Use either a credit card or Paypal, so that charges can be disputed if there is a problem with the tickets.
  • 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, looking for any alterations or inaccuracies, and cross-check the seat assignment with the map on the venue’s Web site before you buy.
  • Get the seller’s real name and contact information. When meeting the seller, ask for some identification, and write it down in case you need it later.
  • Never go alone to pick up tickets purchased from someone online, and always meet in a public place. The “seller” knows when and where you’re going to be, and that you’re carrying a lot of cash. He/she may be setting you up to get robbed.
  • If purchasing a package, ask for the name, address and phone number of the hotel where the room is located, and call the hotel to verify that the room actually exists. Check the hotel’s website or a well-known travel site to be sure that the location is convenient for getting to and from the stadium.
  • Be wary of ads that pile on incentives to make the package look better. Often the items – such as lanyards, T-shirts or other trinkets – have limited value.
  • 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.

For more information or further inquiries, please contact the Wisconsin BBB at www.wisconsin.bbb.org or 414-847-6000 (metro Milwaukee), 920-734-4352 (Appleton), 608-268-2221 (Madison) or 1-800-273-1002 (elsewhere in Wisconsin).

Barto December 06, 2011 at 02:09 AM
As far as saving when buying on eBay goes: Use a site like Ebuyersedge.com to set up saved searches. You get an e-mail whenever a matching item is newly listed. Especially good for "Buy It Now"s that are priced right. Try a misspelling search using a site like Typojoe.com to hopefully find some great deals with items that have main key words misspelled in the title. Other interested buyers might not ever see them. If you see an auction that you want to bid on, use a sniping service such as Bidball.com to place your bid for you. It'll bid in the last few seconds, helping you to save money and avoid shill bidding.
Heather Asiyanbi December 06, 2011 at 03:14 AM
Sometimes I think of how legitimately successful these scammers would be if they used their time and talents for productive, LEGAL endeavors. Boggles the mind.

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