BBB warns of MVC Arch Madness scams - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

BBB warns of MVC Arch Madness scams

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WSIL -- Saluki fans are gearing up for the Missouri Valley Conference's "Arch Madness" tournament in St. Louis March 7-10. But the Better Business Bureau (BBB) warns fans to beware of potential scams by fake ticket sellers seeking to cash in.

The opportunity for sports fans to be scammed by fake ticket sellers occurs most often when people buy tickets from individuals outside the arena, on the street, or through online auctions, classified ads, or bulletin boards.

"Sports fans can get burned by purchasing counterfeit tickets or paying in advance for tickets that never arrive," said Michelle L. Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO. 

Worldwide, the secondary market for sporting and entertainment tickets is expected to reach $15.2 billion by 2020, according to Technavio. It includes tickets bought and sold by professional brokers as well as those purchased and resold by speculators and season ticket holders. Tickets purchased for sports and entertainment events are the source of thousands of BBB complaints by consumers nationwide.

"The internet has become the arena of choice for sports fans looking to buy or sell tickets," Corey said. "Unfortunately, it also has become a breeding ground for scammers looking to take advantage of sports fans."

BBB offers the following advice for 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 BBB's Accredited Business seal on the website and click on it to make sure it is real.
  • If you buy tickets through an online auction site, choose a seller with a 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.
  • Pay with a credit card in case you need to challenge the purchase later. If you are buying tickets through an online classified ad site, avoid paying the seller by wire transfer. You will have no way to get your money back if the tickets do not arrive or are counterfeit.
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