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BBB cautions fans about Super Bowl scams

Published 12:34pm Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Consumer fraud may result from Super Bowl XLVII with the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans on Feb. 3. The Better Business Bureau of North Alabama is warning consumers to look out for phony game tickets, along with fake souvenirs and commemorative merchandise.

“If an offer sounds much better than it should, such as someone selling tickets for much less than offered elsewhere, it’s probably not on the level,” BBB President Michele Mason said.

Mason anticipates “many cases of people purporting to have tickets on auction sites, bulletin boards or a variety of websites. Many times, they will scour the web, looking for photos of tickets that have been uploaded by legitimate ticket holders that they can copy to add authenticity to their own offer.”

To verify travel packages, residents can call the BBB at 256-533-1640 or visit bbb.org. “Look for well-established companies who haven’t developed a pattern of complaints or have unresolved complaints,” Mason said. Websites like betterwhois.com state the time period for a website’s registration.

The BBB suggests to never pay a seller by cash, cashier’s check or wire transfer. “You will have no way to get your money back if tickets don’t arrive or are counterfeit,” Mason said. “Pay with a credit card or through PayPal, both offering some buyer protection.”

Con artists also may try to sell counterfeit memorabilia, which constitute stolen goods and are cheaply made. Consumers can run the risk of divulging a credit card number and personal information that leads to identity theft, Mason said.

The BBB also recommends researching the vendor and matching seats to the venue, along with caution when buying tickets from scalpers. “In some states, it’s illegal to charge more than the face value for tickets,” Mason said.

In addition, residents should verify tickets throughout the year for events like the BCS National Championship and other college games, the Olympics and concerts.

For more information, call 256-533-1640 or 800-239-1642 or visit northalabama.bbb.org.

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