With Colorado State University and the University of Colorado both making making it to the NCAA, Better Business Bureau warns fans to watch out for scams related to March Madness. Major sporting events such as the NCAA tournament almost always inspire scammers to capitalize on the scarcity of tickets and fans’ desire to snap up souvenirs or team jerseys.
For example, Craigslist usually has thousands of game tickets listed, but the site offers no guarantees and sellers don’t have to provide identification. If you buy a ticket outside the event, remember that there are no refunds or guarantees. For that reason, check them out at bbb.org. Some ticket firms provide buyer protections, including money-back guarantees if tickets are fake, others do not.
Official NCAA ticket information is at ncaa.com/tickets.
Also beware of phony websites that appear to sell official team merchandise but are only after your credit card number. To ensure you are getting official sports gear, buy directly from the team or league websites, from official vendors at the stadium or from other trusted stores.
To avoid March madness scams:
- Read ads carefully to understand what is being offered and what the price will be.
- Be wary of ticket offers at extreme discount prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
- Ask the seller where he or she is located and how he or she may be contacted after the sale. If the seller is evasive, don’t pursue the offer.
- When booking hotels, ask for the name, address and phone number of the hotel where the room is located, and call the hotel to verify that the room actually exists. Check the hotel’s website or a reputable travel site to be sure that the location is convenient for getting to and from the arena.
- Be wary of ads that pile on incentives to make the package look better. Often the items – such as lanyards, T-shirts or other trinkets – have limited value.
- Use a credit card. A credit card company can assist you with obtaining a refund if the offer turns out to be fraudulent.
Start With Trust. For more consumer tips visit wynco.bbb.org.