DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Before you reach for your card or hand over that cash for a NCAA ticket, make sure you know there’s not another one exactly like it, in someone else’s hands.
It’s one of the most popular times of the year for basketball fans going to games. John North with Dayton’s Better Business Bureau says that also means it’s a popular time for people selling tickets.
“Whenever anything makes the news big-time like this, scam artists are out there and they are going to try and make a few bucks on this deal,” said North.
The NCAA has its own website you can get tickets from, but that doesn’t stop criminals from trying to make extra money.
“Whenever you go to a a venue and whenever tickets are in high demand, you always run the risk of not having a valid ticket so that’s kinda why the recommendation is to utilize the NCAA partner. That’s why that sight was put in to place,” said Local NCAA Organizer, Matt Farrell.
All you need to get into the game is the bar code on your ticket. The problem is, some scalpers are selling the same ticket again and again or designing ones that look like the real thing.
No one would know it’s fake or a duplicate until they get to the game.
“They take a picture of something they created that looks a lot like a NCAA ticket and you can’t tell the difference. They sell it to you and to a lot of other people as well and so you have something that looks really nice and looks like a NCAA ticket but it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on,” said North.
Another problem: fans showing their excitement and tickets on social media.
“They can replicate that bar code, create it and they can use your ticket to get in and so you need to be very careful if you are excited about it and you want to post something make sure you cover up the important parts,” said North.
North suggests always going through the suggested websites to purchase tickets, but if you don’t, take this advice.
“You have to know you are taking a risk. What we are recommending is that you use your credit card because then if it is a fake at least you have the protection and backing from your credit card company,” said North.
Farrell said Wednesday night’s game is already sold out on the “official” website so it’s even more important to keep these tips handy if you are still in the market for a ticket.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office also has tips to keep you safe from scam artists trying to sell fake tickets.
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Tips for buying tickets from third-party sellers include:
- Be skeptical of offers that seem too good to be true. Sellers, especially in online marketplaces, may offer tickets at face value (or below) for events that are sold out or highly in demand, but these offers may turn out to be scams.
- Be wary of any sellers who require that you provide payment using a wire-transfer service or prepaid money card. These are preferred payment methods for scam artists, because once payment is provided it is very difficult to recover.
- If you want to purchase tickets from a reseller, consider one connected to the official seller, venue, or event promoter.
- Find out if any reviews or feedback have been posted about the ticket seller. Search online using the seller’s name, username, email address, and/or telephone number alongside words like “scam,” “fake tickets,” or “counterfeit tickets.”
- Consider using a credit card to make the purchase. If a problem arises, federal regulations may limit your liability. Also, your credit card company may have a buyer protection program. Other payment methods might not have these kinds of protections.
- Carefully inspect both the front and back of tickets prior to purchase. Many tickets contain anti-counterfeit features such as holograms. Contact the event promoter or official ticket seller for tips on how to spot a fake ticket for the event you wish to attend.
- If you suspect a scam or an unfair business practice, report it to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by calling 800-282-0515.