Football season is upon us!
Ticket scams are hitting college football fans hard and fast. It’s important to know how to get to that game without losing half your savings in the process.
You can skip bootlegged merchandise at the game to avoid accidentally buying counterfeit goods. You can park in official places to avoid fake parking attendants. Those are easy scams to detect and dodge. Spotting phony tickets is harder.
If you want to save your money, check out the following three tips.
1.) Watch for red flags
Read through the seller’s blurb about the ticket. Does it have the same tone as those “Prince of Nairobi” emails? Is the seller lacking proof that they actually have these tickets, such as a picture of the tickets in question? If they do have pictures, do those tickets fail to match up with the venue, the date, the stated seating, etc? Has the seller asked you to wire money to them?
If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, it’s almost definitely a scam. Take the information you’ve gathered and report it to the website administrators.
2.) Keep yourself protected
If the scammer was clever enough to trick you and you end up losing your money, there are a couple things you can do. If you paid them through a third-party service, such as Paypal, you can cancel your transaction within a few days and get your money back.
The same is true of many debit and credit cards that offer buyer protection services. Call your issuing company to find out if you can stop payment because of fraudulent or undelivered goods.
3.) Do your homework
The only way to be 100% certain you’re not being scammed is to buy the tickets at full price from the venue. Anything less than that is a gamble either way. Your best bet is to have as much contact with the seller as possible.
Start a conversation over email that goes back and forth for a little bit, asking them to verify every last detail about the sale. If you can, you might even want to call them by phone or agree to meet them in person. Just in case it is a scam, you’ll want to have all the information you can get to report them to the police and your credit card company.
Nothing beats the thrill of seeing a live football game. Do that safely and securely by using common sense, and keeping an eye out for suspicious sellers. Then, there’ll be nothing for you to worry about but the score.
YOUR TURN: What do you do to keep yourself safe on game day? What red flags should people look for around sporting events? Share your tips with others in the comments!