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BBB Tips to Avoid Rips-Offs for Opening of Baseball and Concert Season

Ticket Scammers Ready to "Strike" for Opening Day

BBB Tips to Avoid Rips-Offs for Opening of Baseball and Concert Season

Rockford, IL – April 5, 2022 – Baseball season starts this week, and with home openers for the Cubs on April 7th and the White Sox on April 12th, baseball fans will crave to be part of the action after a long winter. Nothing can match the excitement of an opening day other than playoff baseball, and scammers will come out of hibernation with fake tickets and memorabilia for baseball and concert season. With Lollapalooza and other summer concert ticket sales open, many fans are looking for tickets to games and concerts now and in the months to come.
The Better Business Bureau is warning fans to be on the lookout for fake websites, tickets, and merchandise. 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, and the like, and unfortunately, some of them are rip-offs,” 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 cash in on unsuspecting fans. Not only do they take money from consumers, but they are also taking money from legitimate businesses.”
Even in the era of primarily electronic exchanges, tickets and QR codes for entry may never be detected as fakes until you’re left standing at the gate.
Last year, the Better Business Bureau received hundreds of complaints on BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting events, concerts, theatre, and other forms of entertainment. Hundreds more complaints were received from customers buying shoddy, counterfeit merchandise sold as official apparel.
Here are BBB tips to reduce your risk of money or identity theft:
  • Buying tickets from unknown sources is like buying tickets in a dark alley. Fake tickets, especially for sought-after events, are common.
  • Buy only from trusted vendors. Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on BBB.org to learn what other customers have experienced.
  • Avoid tickets sold on Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and other free online listings. Scammers are skilled at providing realistic tickets and fake receipts.
  • Purchase from the venue. Whenever possible, use the official ticket sales agent for the venue or visit the box office directly.
  • Consider your source. Know the difference between a professional ticket broker (a legitimate and accredited reseller), a ticket scalper, and a scammer selling fake tickets.
  • Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Don’t click through emails from online ads; a common scam trick is to create a look-alike web address/site.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the transaction terms. Sellers should disclose the exact location of the seats represented by the tickets. Know what happens when concerts cancel or change dates.
  • Use payment methods that come with protection. Always use a credit card, so you have some recourse if the tickets are not as promised. Debit cards, wire transfers, or cash transactions are money lost if the tickets are fraudulent.
  • Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, ads for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads will be scams.
  • Be VERY ALERT TO HIGH TRANSACTION FEES on the final page of your purchase. Many low-rated ticket sellers collect all your information before indicating sometimes exorbitant fees at the end of the transaction.
  • Look for secure sites. The website should begin with HTTPS (the “s” is for secure) and have a little lock symbol on the address bar.

For official Merchandise:

  • Only buy Merchandise at the Ball Park or authorized MLB Vendors.
  • Know the refund policy. You should only purchase Merchandise from someone who discloses the terms and conditions of refunds or exchanges.
  • Be aware that unlicensed and unofficial concert clothing are often made from inferior materials that shrink and ink that might run and cause problems in the wash.

For more information

Sign up for BBB’s free consumer newsletter, BBB Edge, at BBB.org/ChicagoBuzz. If you have spotted a scam, whether or not you lost money, please report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report exposes scammer tactics and helps protect your community. Visit BBB.org or follow us @ChicagoBBB on social media.
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About BBB:

BBB of Chicago and Northern Illinois is a nonprofit organization that has served both consumers and trustworthy businesses for over 95 years and is a part of the IABBB. We help protect consumers from scams and provide a free database for consumers to see business ratings and reviews to find businesses they can trust. We connect customers to businesses they can trust. BBB is the sign of a better business.
The International Association of Better Business Bureaus (IABBB) is the network hub for BBBs in the US, Canada and Mexico. Like BBBs, IABBB is dedicated to fostering honest and responsive relationships between businesses and consumers -- instilling consumer confidence and advancing a trustworthy marketplace for all. Please visit BBB.org for more information.
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