Ravens Ticket Scam: Beware Fake Resales As Tickets Seek $500+
Patch reporter Megan VerHelst wrote this story.
BALTIMORE, MD — The No. 1 seed Baltimore Ravens will host the AFC Championship game for the first time in franchise history. As tickets go on sale, officials are warning fans to look out for scams.
Baltimore will host the Kansas City Chiefs this Sunday in the semifinal round of the NFL playoffs. This is the fifth time the Ravens have made the semifinals since their arrival in Baltimore, and tickets for the much-anticipated game went on sale at 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The winners of the AFC and NFC championship games will play for the Vince Lombardi Trophy during Super Bowl 58 on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.
Due to the anticipated high demand for tickets, officials with the Better Business Bureau said fans should be mindful of where and from whom they purchase tickets. Last year, the agency received more than 140 reports on BBB Scam Tracker about ticket scams related to sporting and other entertainment events.
"When there's a high demand and shortage or limited number, whether it's a toy at Christmastime or a Ravens ticket, scammers are really wanting to take advantage of that," BBB president Angie Barnett told WBAL-TV.
Barnett told WBAL-TV fans should stick to the Ravens' official website when purchasing tickets.
The cheapest ticket that Patch saw Wednesday on SeatGeek, the official reseller on the Ravens' website, was $541 with fees.
Fans should be wary of resale ticket sites and social media sales.
"This is really where you see scams. It takes nothing for a scam artist to go onto a social media page, build up a profile and post and say, 'I'm selling tickets for the Ravens game,'" Barnett told the news station.
According to the Better Business Bureau, consumers should follow these tips to avoid scammers:
- Purchase from the venue whenever possible. Many official ticket sales agents now offer secondary sales options, as well.
- Consider your source. Know the difference between a legitimate and accredited reseller, a ticket scalper and a scammer selling scam tickets.
- Check out the seller/broker. Look them up on BBB.org to learn what other customers have experienced. Check to see if they are a member of the National Association of Ticket Brokers. NATB members offer a 200 percent purchase guarantee on tickets. Look up the seller on VerifiedTicketSource.com to confirm you are buying from a NATB-member resale company.
- Buy only from trusted vendors. Buy online only from vendors you know and trust. Look for the lock symbol in the web address to indicate a secure purchasing system. Don’t click through emails or online ads — a common ticket scam trick is to create a web address that is similar to a well-known company.
- Know the refund policy. You should only purchase tickets from a ticket reseller that provides clear details about the terms of the transaction. Sellers should disclose to the purchaser before the purchase the location of the seats represented by the tickets, either orally or by reference to a seating chart. If the tickets are not available for immediate access to the purchaser, disclose when the tickets will ship or be available for pick-up.
- 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 risky; if the tickets are fraudulent, you won’t be able to get your money back.
- Be wary of advertisements. When you search the web for online tickets, advertisements for cheap tickets will often appear. Use good judgment; some of these ads will be ticket scams, especially if the prices are low.
- If you’re unsure, verify your tickets. Pay a visit to the arena where the event will be held. Present your ticket at will call and they can verify if your ticket is legitimate and show you how to tell if it is fake.
If fans believe they have been scammed, they should report it through the BBB Scam Tracker.
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