Ticket scams ready to ‘strike’ during baseball and concert season


ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — With the Cubs opening home games on April 7 and the White Sox on April 12, baseball fans are hungry to be a part of the action after a long winter.

The Better Business Bureau warns buyers to look for fake websites, tickets and merchandise.

Nothing can match the excitement of an opening day other than playoff baseball, and just like fans, scammers are awakening from their hibernation with fake tickets and memorabilia for baseball and concert season. With Lollapalooza and Summerfest among summer concert ticket sales, fans are looking for tickets to games and concerts now for months to come.

Many online platforms are already flooded with tickets for sale.

“There are countless ways for consumers to find tickets online, with online marketplaces, ticket sellers, resellers, etc., and unfortunately some of them are scams,” says Dennis Horton , director of the Rockford regional office of the Better Business Bureau. “Ticket sellers and scammers use the excitement and emotion of events like an opening day or hot shows and concerts to take advantage of unsuspecting fans. Not only do they take money from consumers, but they also take money from legitimate businesses.

Even in the era of electronic exchanges, tickets and entry QR codes may never be detected as fake until you stand at the door.

Last year, the BBB received hundreds of complaints on the BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theater and other forms of entertainment.

Hundreds of other complaints came from customers buying counterfeit merchandise sold as official clothing.

Here are some red flags to watch out for if you’re planning on buying tickets to any event this summer:

  • Buying tickets from unknown sources is like buying tickets in a dark alley. Counterfeit tickets, especially for sought-after events, are common.
  • Buy only from trusted vendors. Consult the seller/broker. Check them out on bbb.org to find out what other customers have experienced.
  • Avoid tickets sold on craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other free online ads. Scammers are adept at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts.
  • Purchase on site. Where possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue or go directly to the box office.
  • Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket reseller and a scammer selling fake tickets.
  • Buy online only from suppliers you know and trust. Do not click on e-mail advertisements online; a common scam is to create a lookalike address/website.

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